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. Such information is critical as well as for monitoring progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The Population Division produces estimates and projections of population size by age and sex, as well as indicators that describe various characteristics of a population, including levels and trends in fertility, mortality, migration, urbanization and so forth, at the global, regional and national levels. The Division produces the data set [World Population Prospects] every other year.