Momentum estimates from around the world

In the illustration below, we present momentum estimates (based on Frauenthal's approximation) using data from the United Nations Population Division.  In 2010, population momentum coefficients varied from 0.83 (Germany) to 1.69 (Guatemala). Interestingly, the countries with the highest estimates for population momentum are not necessarily those with the highest fertility rates because these are often characterized by high mortality as well. Instead, population momentum is largest in populations with high birth rates as well as relatively high life expectancy. This is the case for most countries in Central America. Population momentum for the region as a whole is estimated at 1.50. Three regions have population momentum estimates around 1.45, namely sub-Saharan Africa, Northern Africa and Western Asia.

Interaction Rollover the map below to see world population momentum estimates in detail.

Figure 4: Population momentum estimates from around the world (2010)

Source (data and country classifications): UNPD (2011) World Population Prospects, the 2010 Revision, POP/DBIWPP/Rev.2010/03/F02

East, West and Southern Europe are the regions with negative momentum (M<1). Even with an immediate rebounding of fertility rates back to replacement level Europe's population as a whole is projected to fall by five percent from current numbers. In Germany, the total population would even decline by 17% (M=0.83).

Other countries with large negative momentum are Bulgaria (M=0.87), Croatia (M=0.88), and Ukraine (M=0.87). The most notable country with negative momentum outside Europe is Japan (M=0.89).

To conclude this section it is worth noting that all of these momentum estimates pertain to the natural increase (or decline) of populations and do not account for migration.