Expert group meeting on completing the fertility transition

New York 

11 March 2002 to 14 March 2002


The Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) organized an expert group meeting on completing the fertility transition. The meeting took place at the United Nations in New York from 11 to 14 March 2002.

The meeting discussed assumptions for future levels of fertility, to be applied by the Division in its population projections for countries with intermediate levels of fertility, that is, countries where current fertility levels range between 2.1 and 5 children per woman. Until recently, the Division assumed that total fertility levels in intermediate-fertility countries would not fall below replacement level (2.1 children per woman) by 2050. However, this assumption has become less tenable as fertility levels in a growing number of developing and developed countries have fallen to, and remained, well below replacement. 

Participants proposed that fertility in intermediate-fertility countries could decline to 1.85 children per woman by 2050. This assumption will have a momentous impact, both because of the large population of the intermediate-fertility countries (43 per cent of world population in 2000), and because of the many implications of sustained below-replacement fertility.



Organization of work

Monday, 11 March 2002


I. Opening of the meeting

II. Keynote address



III. Global issues impacting the fertility transition


Tuesday, 12 March 2002


IV. Levels, trends and determinants of fertility



V. National policies and programmes


Wednesday, 13 March 2002


VI. Future expectations for fertility



VII. Reflections by eminent persons


Thursday, 14 March 2002


VIII. Back to the Future: Proposed United Nations assumptions



IX. Rapporteur’s overview

X. Conclusion

XI. Closing of the Meeting

Background papers

Country papers