2018 World Population Data



Investing in Education Can Power Countries' Economic

Investments in education are critical to ensuring that a country has a skilled workforce. When the share of a country’s young dependent population (ages 0 to 14) decreases relative to the working-age population (ages 15 to 64), and adequate jobs exist for the working-age population, per capita income increases, making more resources available for investments in the health and education of each child. This age structure transition opens a window of opportunity to achieve what is called a demographic dividend—the accelerated economic growth that can occur as fertility declines and a population age structure matures, given strategic investments in education, health, economic policy, and governance. 

Upper-secondary education (that is, secondary education at advanced levels) can equip young people with the knowledge and skills they need to be competitive in the workforce, helping them to earn more and fueling continued economic growth. Secondary education also has transformative health and economic benefits for girls, including delaying age at first marriage and age at first birth. Upper-secondary school enrollment is increasing in many regions but remains relatively low in many countries in the high child dependency category, such as Ethiopia and Guatemala.

New research suggests that countries become more likely to achieve high levels of upper-secondary enrollment when they are in the window of opportunity to achieve a demographic dividend. But these benefits do not develop automatically. Ecuador, for example, has made substantial investments in education reform, leading to drastic increases in both enrollment and quality of instruction. Countries with high child dependency must invest in improving access to upper-secondary education to generate a workforce able to drive accelerated economic growth.


Harnessing the Demographic Dividend


2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book: Trends in Child Well-Being


Global Employment and the Sustainable Development Goals


Family Planning Equity Among Youth: Where Are We Now?


Appalachia’s Aging Population—More Residents Ages 65+, Fewer Ages 25 to 64—Signals Challenges Ahead


Early Marriage Trends

For countries with a large share of young people ages 0 to 14, investment in upper-secondary education is critical to developing the skilled workforce needed to accelerate economic growth.


Data updated on August 15, 2017.



The Data Sheet lists all geopolitical entities with populations of 150,000 or more and all members of the UN, including sovereign states, dependencies, overseas departments, and some territories whose status or boundaries may be undetermined or in dispute. More developed regions, following the UN classification, comprise all of Europe and North America, plus Australia, Japan, and New Zealand. All other regions and countries are classified as less developed. The least developed countries consist of 47 countries with especially low incomes, high economic vulnerability, and poor human development indicators. The criteria and list of countries, as defined by the UN, can be found at http://unohrlls.org/about-ldcs/.

World and Regional Totals: Regional population totals are independently rounded and include small countries or areas not shown. Regional and world rates and percentages are weighted averages of countries for which data are available. Regional averages are shown when data or estimates are available for at least three-quarters of the region’s population.

World Population Data Sheets from different years should not be used as a time series. Fluctuations in values from year to year often reflect revisions based on new data or estimates rather than actual changes in levels.

Country-specific notes include:

  • SAR stands for Special Administrative Region.
  • Kosovo declared independence from Serbia on Feb. 17, 2008. Serbia has not recognized Kosovo’s independence.
  • Macedonia is part of the former Yugoslav Republic.
  • (—) Indicates data unavailable or inapplicable.

    A date range indicates the most recent data point during that time period.


    The rates and figures are primarily compiled from the following sources: national statistical offices’ official websites, online databases, statistical yearbooks, and bulletins from various countries; demographic surveys such as the Demographic and Health Surveys, Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys, and Performance and Monitoring Accountability (PMA) 2020 Surveys; the UN Demographic Yearbook 2015 and Population and Vital Statistics Report of the UN Statistics Division; World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision, World Contraceptive Use 2016, and World Urbanization Prospects: The 2014 Revision of the UN Population Division; the International Data Base of the International Programs Center, U.S. Census Bureau; World Development Indicators online database of the World Bank; AIDSinfo online database of the UNAIDS; FAOSTAT online database of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations; and UIS.Stat online database of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. The sources also include direct communication with demographers and country experts from around the world. Specific data sources may be obtained by contacting the authors of the 2017 World Population Data Sheet. For countries with complete registration of births and deaths, rates are those most recently reported. For more developed countries, nearly all vital rates refer to 2016 or 2015.


    This publication is funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the U.S. Agency for International Development (PACE Project, No. AID-0AA-A-16-00002), and supporters. The contents are the responsibility of the Population Reference Bureau and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States government.


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