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China's uncertain demographic present and future

Wolfgang Lutz, Sergei Scherbov, Gui Ying Cao, Qiang Ren and Xiaoying Zheng

Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, 2007, vol. 5, issue 1, 37-59

Abstract: This paper applies methods of probabilistic population forecasting to assess the range of uncertainty of China’s future population trends. Unlike previous applications of probabilistic population projections that consider stochastic future fertility, mortality and migration, this paper will also account for the significant uncertainty of China’s current fertility level (with published figures ranging from 1.2 to 2.3) and the related uncertainties about the sex ratio at birth (with estimates from 1.06 to above 1.2) and the size of the youngest cohorts in the 2000 census. The model applied in this paper will be based on assumed uncertainty ranges for current conditions, in addition to the probabilistic treatment of future trends. Given the sheer size of China’s population, these significant uncertainties about current conditions are of high importance not only for the future population of China but also for considerations on a global scale.

Date: 2007
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