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World Population Prospects and Unmet Need for Family Planning

by Scott Moreland, Ellen Smith


The United Nations (UN) biennially produces population projections based on three fertility and mortality variants. This study analyzes what levels of contraceptive use are implied by these three UN fertility variants. It also analyzes a fourth scenario in which unmet need for family planning is met, calculating the resultant TFRs and concomitant population sizes. Thus the future paths of CPR, TFR, total population size, and costs of family planning can be compared across the three UN Scenarios and the fourth Unmet Need Scenario. We prepared regional projections for Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Near East, Transition Countries and India, representing 97 countries in all. The CPR trajectory under the Unmet Need Scenario was between the UN Low and UN Medium estimates for 2010-2034, and higher than UN Low estimates for 2035-2050. The trajectory of the global TFR under the Unmet Need Scenario was between the UN Low and UN Medium estimates for 2010- 2043, and lower than the UN Low estimates for 2044-2050. Global population estimates under the Unmet Need Scenario were between the UN Low and UN Medium estimates for the entire projection period. For all countries combined, the cumulative costs of family planning for 2010-2050 were estimated at $198 billion for the UN Low, $182 billion for the UN Medium, $166 billion for the UN High, and $202 billion for the Unmet Need Scenario.

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