The United Nations Population Division biennially prepares the official United Nations population estimates and projections for countries, their urban and rural areas, and their major cities for all countries and areas of the world. These population estimates and projections provide the standard and consistent set of population figures which are used throughout the United Nations system as the basis for activities requiring population information as an input.
In particular, these population figures provide the "denominators" for the regular estimates and projections exercises undertaken by the specialized agencies in sectors such as labour force, school enrolment and agriculture. The Population Division, the regional commissions, specialized agencies and other organizations within the United Nations system that regularly make use of these estimates and projections (particularly for the preparation of the above-mentioned population-based sectoral estimates and projections) meet every two years, under the auspices of the Administrative Committee on Co-ordination (ACC), to organize work and to maintain consistency among the United Nations population and sectoral estimates and projections.
A second aspect of the population estimates and projections work programme is preparation of consistent estimates and projections of the urban and rural populations for all countries and areas of the world. Estimates and projections of urban and rural populations cover the period of 1950 to 2030 and are revised biennially.
Thirdly, the Population Division prepares the United Nations estimates and projections of populations of urban agglomerations and of capital cities. These urban agglomerations estimates and projections cover the period from 1950 to 2015. The full results are published in the same monograph as the urban projections.
The Population Division also prepares, from time to time, supplementary world population projections, extending the regular projections into the "long term". The latest such projections, published in 1998, presents seven scenarios of population projections to the year 2150 for large areas of the world appeared in World Population Projections to 2150.
Data available on the CD-ROM World Urbanization Prospect: The 1999 Revision prepared by the Population division, Departement of Economic and Social affairs.
De facto population living in areas classified as urban according to the criteria used by each area or country. Data refer to 1 July of the year indicated and are presented in thousands.
The data is only aggregated if at least 75 % of the observations are available (i.e. % of population
or % of Population or % of countries) on an annual basis.
The value "-9999" corresponds to "No Data".
National and aggregations
The annual series of the urban population was obtained by systematically applying to the total
population the percentage of urban population.
The annual series of the percentage of the urban population have been derived through
interpolation of the quinquennial series prepared by the UN (World Urbanization Prospects: The
Calculated pre 1991-1992 relative country share
Former Yugoslavia SFR:
Data for Australia include Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Norfolk Island.
Data for China do not include Hong Kong.
Data for Mauritius include Agalega, Rodrigues and Saint Brandon.
Holy See refers to the Vatican City State.
Data for Saint Helena include Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.
Figures for 1960-1995 are estimates and those for years beyond 1995 are projections. The urban
population data presented are consistent with the medium variant of the 1998 Revision of World
Population Prospects, the official United Nations population estimates and projections at the
The urban population estimates are based on the varying national definitions of urban areas.
Copyright c 2001 United Nations Environment Programme/DEWA/GRID-Geneva.
Copyright c 2001 (Aggregations) United Nations Environment Programme/DEWA/GRID-Geneva.
Data aggregation made by Andrea DeBono and Ola Nordbeck (UNEP/DEWA/GRID-Geneva).