Volume 18, No.08 - August 2014

Publications and websites

Technical reports


2014 revision of the World Urbanization Prospects

The 2014 revision of the World Urbanization Prospects by UN DESA’s Population Division notes that the largest urban growth will take place in India, China and Nigeria. These three countries will account for 37 per cent of the projected growth of the world’s urban population between 2014 and 2050. By 2050, India is projected to add 404 million urban dwellers, China 292 million and Nigeria 212 million.

The urban population of the world has grown rapidly from 746 million in 1950 to 3.9 billion in 2014. Asia, despite its lower level of urbanization, is home to 53 per cent of the world’s urban population, followed by Europe with 14 per cent and Latin America and the Caribbean with 13 per cent.

The world’s urban population is expected to surpass six billion by 2045.  Much of the expected urban growth will take place in countries of the developing regions, particularly Africa. As a result, these countries will face numerous challenges in meeting the needs of their growing urban populations, including for housing, infrastructure, transportation, energy and employment, as well as for basic services such as education and health care.

“Managing urban areas has become one of the most important development challenges of the 21st century. Our success or failure in building sustainable cities will be a major factor in the success of the post-2015 UN development agenda,” said John Wilmoth, Director of UN DESA’s Population Division.


Global governance and global rules for development in the post-2015 era

The Committee for Development Policy has released its 2014 Policy Note on Global governance and global rules for development in the post-2015 era. In this Policy Note, the Committee analyses how intergovernmental cooperation could be strengthened to better manage the increasing interdependence among countries, reduce large inequalities among and within countries and contribute to the implementation of the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, while preserving the necessary policy space for government action at the country level.



Prototype Global Sustainable Development Report

Launched on 1 July by UN DESA’s Division for Sustainable Development, the report provides governments with an idea of how future Global Sustainable Development Reports can be shaped. The findings of this new report show that sustainable development pathways can lead toward a world where by the latter half of the 21st century all regions will be developed, poverty will be eradicated and the demand on natural sources and sinks will not exceed their regeneration capacity.



Probabilistic Population Projections (PPP)

UN DESA’s Population Division just released a new revision of Probabilistic Population Projections (PPP). These projections are based on the historical estimates of population by age and sex, fertility and mortality trends between 1950 and 2010 from the 2012 Revisionof the World Population Prospects, and probabilistic projections of total fertility and life expectancy at birth for all countries and areas of the world. This new set of projections provide total population for all countries and areas with 90,000 inhabitants or more in 2013 and, for the first time, for 35 major geographic aggregates and 4 World Bank income groups. Population by broad age groups and for various age dependency ratios are also provided for all these aggregates and countries or areas. These results are complementary to the official 2012 Revisionof the World Population Prospects.


Statistical compilations


Monthly Bulletin of Statistics and MBS Online

The Monthly Bulletin of Statistics presents current economic and social statistics for more than 200 countries and territories of the world.  It contains over 50 tables of monthly and/or bimonthly, quarterly and annual data on a variety of subjects illustrating important economic trends and developments, including population, prices, employment and earnings, energy, manufacturing, transport, construction, international merchandise trade and finance.

Vol. LXVIII – No. 6, June 2014

In addition to the regular recurrent monthly tables, this issue includes quarterly and bimonthly tables: Retail price indices relating to living expenditures of United Nations officials; Earnings in non-agricultural activities, by sex; Fuel imports, developed economies: unit value and volume indices, and value; Indicators on fuel imports, developed economies; External trade conversion factors; Manufactured goods exports: unit value indices, volume indices and value; and Selected series of world statistics.


Outreach material


Youth Flash Newsletter

Published by UN DESA’s Division for Social Policy and Development Focal Point on Youth, the July issue puts the spotlight on the International Youth Day 2014 Campaign. The newsletter is prepared with input from UN offices, agencies, and from youth organizations around the world.


Published by UN DESA’s NGO Branch, the latest issue provides the most up-to-date information on news and upcoming events of interest to civil society at UN headquarters in New York, Geneva and elsewhere.

22nd edition of UN Bimonthly Publications Review

Every two months, the review collates publications produced by UN agencies and programmes on issues related to water and sanitation. This edition brings together 32 UN publications from a range of water and sanitation related issues. All publications are available online as free downloadable PDFs.


Discussion papers


Monthly Briefing on the World Economic Situation and Prospects No. 68

Published by UN DESA’s Development Policy and Analysis Division, the July issue is now available online, putting the spotlight on the sluggish recovery of world trade, the rise of oil prices amid political instability in Iraq and the disappointing first quarter for developed economies.


Working papers


Recipients and Contributors: Middle income countries and the future of development cooperation

The new role that middle-income countries (MICs) play in the global landscape obliges international community to review the configuration of the development cooperation system. On the one hand, MICs still face considerable structural deficits that affect their process of development; on the other, international community needs MICs to participate more intensively in the international agenda. Development cooperation can support both purposes, although for that to happen, substantial changes are required in traditional approaches and procedures of current international aid. This paper analyses these subjects with the objective of helping decision-makers come to good decisions.

A comparative study of the forecasting performance of three international organizations

This article evaluates and compares the forecasting performance of three international organizations: the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The annual forecasts made by the United Nations in the period of 1981-2011 are found to be fairly robust, in terms of bias and efficiency. In comparison, the forecasting performance of the United Nations is found to be marginally better than the other two organizations during the period of 2000-2012. However, the forecasts of all these organizations missed the Great Recession of 2009 by a large margin.