The Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs conducts demographic research, supports intergovernmental processes at the United Nations in the area of population and development, and assists countries in developing their capacity to produce and analyse population data and information.
A Population Commission was established by the Economic and Social Council in its resolution 3 (III) of 3 October 1946. In its resolution 49/128 of 19 December 1994, the General Assembly decided that the Commission should be renamed the Commission on Population and Development.
Commission on Population and Development, fifty-fifth session, 25-29 April 2022
Globally, the number of adolescents and young people is at an all-time high. While the number of young people has been declining in the more developed regions since it peaked around 1980, it has been increasing in the less developed regions and is expected to continue to grow over the next few decades.
When fertility begins to decline from elevated levels, the population distribution by age changes. Initially, the reduction in fertility leads to an increase in the relative size of the population at working ages, creating a favourable age distribution that may help to accelerate economic growth per capita, resulting in a “demographic dividend”.
The Population Division builds and strengthens national capacities to estimate and analyse population levels and trends and other demographic indicators for formulating and implementing national policies and programmes related to population and development.
The Programme of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development affirmed the basic right of couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children and to have the information, education and means to do so.
Continued high fertility in some countries is the major driver of population growth, while in other countries the decline of fertility to historically low levels propels changes in the age distribution, including the gradual ageing of the human population.
It is widely recognized that migrants make a positive contribution to inclusive growth and sustainable development in countries of origin and destination.
Reducing mortality, increasing life expectancy, and improving the health of populations are key objectives of the Programme of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Well-designed government policies are critical for implementing the Programme of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development and for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Timely and accurate information about changes in the size and characteristics of a country’s population is needed by national governments, the United Nations, international organizations and civil society to formulate, implement and evaluate policies and programmes in almost all spheres of life.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the General Assembly in September 2015, provides an ambitious set of goals whose achievement will set humanity on a path towards sustainability.
The world is becoming increasingly urbanized. Today, more than half of the global population lives in urban areas, while the urban share worldwide is rising from around one third in 1950 to around two thirds in 2050.