A quick look at some major errors in past population projections demonstrates that the problem was not with the technical instruments of projection but with the inability to anticipate major changes in human behavior and medical progress. Any population projection that is based exclusively on past trends of demographic rates is bound to miss possible future dicontinuities and surprises. If they can be anticipated at all, it can only be done by considering demographic trends in a broader socioeconomic, cultural, and biological context.
Here, the three components of population change--fertility, morality, and migration--are addressed. Introductory chapters describe past trends and assumptions for projections currently made in Europe and North America. Also included are discussions and analyses of some possible demographic discontinuities, together with a description of how assumptions on the three components are merged for population projections on national and international levels. This includes a synthesis where alternative views are translated numerically into ten alternative demographic scenarios for East Europe, West Europe, and North America through the year 2050.
The Future of Reproduction:A. Kliger, Survey of Recent Fertility Trends and Assumptions Used for Projections.G. Feeney and W. Lutz, Distributional Analysis of Period Fertility.C. Calhoun and J. De Beer, Birth Expectations and Population Forecasts: The Case of the Netherlands.C.F. Westoff, The Return to Replacement Fertility: A Magnetic Force?N. Keyfitz, Subreplacement Fertility: The Third Level of Explanation.C. Höhn, Policies Relevant to Fertility.A. Vishnevsky, Demographic Revolution and the Future of Fertility: A Systems Approach.
The Future of Migratory Flows and Regional Trends:A.B. Wils, Survey of Immigration Trends and Assumptions about Future Migration.T. Espenshade, M. White, and F. Bean, Patterns of Recent Illegal Migration to the United States.G. Steinmann, Immigration as a Remedy for the Birth Dearth: The Case of West Germany.R. Beaujot, Immigration Policy and Sociodemographic Change: The Canadian Case.T. Büttner and C. Prinz, Structure and Impact of German East-West Migration.W. Serow and D. Sly, Geographic Mobility of the Elderly in Industrialized Societies.S. Scherbov and W. Lutz, Regional Population Patterns in the Soviet Union: Scenarios to the Year 2050.
Combining the Three Components in Population Projection:N. Keilman, National Population Projection Methods in Developed Countries.S. Inoue and A.B. Wils, United Nations Population Projections.J.F. Long, Relative Effects of Fertility, Mortality, and Immigration on Projected Age Structure.W. Lutz, C. Prinz, A.B. Wils, T. Büttner, and G. Heilig, Alternative Demographic Scenarios for Europe and North America.