Expert group meeting on recent and future trends in fertility

New York

02 December 2009 to 04 December 2009


The Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations is organizing an Expert Group Meeting on Recent and Future Trends in Fertility that will be held in New York from 2 to 4 December 2009. The purpose of the meeting is to bring together experts to examine recent trends in fertility and discuss future prospects in order to inform the preparation of the 2010 Revision of the World Population Prospects.

The first two days of the meeting will be devoted to the presentations on fertility levels, trends and prospects in diverse countries and regions of the world. The last day of the meeting, devoted to fertility projections, will focus on methodological issues and include a panel discussion on a proposed new methodology to project fertility. 


Organization of work

Wednesday, 2 December 2009
9:30 – 12:30

I. Opening session

  •  Hania Zlotnik, Director, United Nations Population Division. Projecting fertility: A history (presentation)



II. Low fertility countries in Europe, Northern America, Australia and New Zealand

  • Tomáš Sobotka, Czech Republic, Vienna Institute of Demography. European fertility trends and prospects (presentation)
  • Gerda Neyer, Austria, Stockholm University. Effects of family policies on childbearing behaviour in developed countries (presentation)
  • Hans-Peter Kohler, Germany, University of Pennsylvania. Why has fertility recently increased in many developed countries? (presentation)


14:00 – 17:30

III. Low fertility countries in Asia

  • Gavin Jones, Australia, National University of Singapore. Recent fertility trends, policy responses and fertility prospects in low fertility countries of East and Southeast Asia (presentation)
  • Gu Baochang, China, Renmin University of China. Fertility prospects in China (presentation)
  • Ryuichi Kaneko, Japan, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research. Fertility prospects in Japan (presentation)
  • Sergio DellaPergola, Israel, Hebrew University Jerusalem. Fertility prospects in Israel: Ever below replacement level? (presentation)



IV. Arab countries –diversity in fertility levels

  • Laila El-Zeini, Egypt, Cairo University. Fertility transition in Egypt and Morocco: Explaining the differences (presentation)
  • John Casterline (USA), Ohio State University. Fertility levels and trends in Arab countries: Why so diverse and what are the prospects (presentation)


Thursday, 3 December 2009
9:30 – 12:30

V. Latin American fertility levels

  • Suzana Cavenaghi, Brazil, ENCE/IBGE. Diversity of childbearing behaviour within population in the context of below replacement fertility in Brazil (presentation)
  • Guiomar Bay, UN/ECLAC. Latin American fertility decline: Differences and commonalities
  • Luis Rosero-Bixby, Costa Rica, University of Costa Rica. Is Latin America starting to retreat from early and universal childbearing? (presentation)


14:00 – 17:30

VI. Asian countries with intermediate fertility levels

  • Carl Haub, USA, Population Reference Bureau. Fertility prospects in India (presentation)
  • Zeba A. Sathar, Pakistan, Population Council. Fertility prospects in Pakistan (presentation)
  • Terry Hull, Australia, Australian National University. Fertility prospects in South-Eastern Asia (presentation)



VII. Prospects of fertility decline in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Tom Moultrie, South Africa, University of Cape Town. Stopping, spacing and postponing: The future of the African fertility decline (presentation)
  • Jean-Pierre Guengant, France. Proximate determinants of fertility in Africa and their use in fertility projections (presentation)


Friday, 4 December 2009
9:30 – 12:30

VIII. Projecting fertility

  • United Nations Population Division. The evolution of United Nations Population Division’s approach to projecting fertility


     Presentation of new methodology:

  • Adrian Raftery, Ireland, University of Washington. : Overview of a Bayesian approach to projections
  • Leontine Alkema, Netherlands, National University of Singapore. Methodology for Bayesian projection of fertility (presentation)



     Preliminary assessment of new methodology:

  • United Nations Population Division. Implications for total fertility and population projections


14:00 – 17:30

IX. Panel discussion on projecting fertility

  • Peter Johnson, USA, United States Census Bureau
  • Joel Cohen, USA, Rockefeller University
  • Nico Keilman, Norway, University of Oslo
  • Timothy Dyson, United Kingdom, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Peter Way, USA, United States Census Bureau
  • John Bongaarts, Netherlands, Population Council



X. Closing