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2008 NPHC Analytical Report »
»  Analytical Report on Population Projection


Executive Summary

The overall objective of this report is to project Liberia’s population for a period of 100 years (from 2008 to 2108) to enable planners and policy makers know what is likely to happen in future so as to make informed decisions. The report examines demographic characteristics of these projections so as to provide a basis in which planners can prescribe appropriate policies which are in line with the national development goals. The 2008 census data was evaluated and like many census undertakings the world over, it was found to have content errors in form of age misreporting and digit preference around digits 0 and 5, and in ages 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60. Quality assessment was done and the data was smoothed. The smoothed population of Liberia was updated to midyear 2008 and comprised of 1,750,539 males and 1,742,024 females. This data was taken to be the base year population for projection.

When projecting, three fertility assumptions were considered: low, medium and high fertility scenarios. This was intended to show how much the government would spend or save in case of a high or medium or low fertility scenario. Estimates were based on past and current data derived from previous censuses and surveys. From the results, the low fertility scenario in Liberia is expected to decrease from 5.2 live births per woman in 2008 to 2 births in 2108. In the medium scenario, fertility would decline from 5.8 live births to 3 births while in the high fertility scenario fertility would decline more slowly from 5.8 births in 2008 to 4 live birth per woman during the same period, 2108.
Past trends of mortality were used to form assumptions about future values of mortality. Although Liberia has HIV2, it was found to have a minimal effect on the general mortality pattern and with vigorous HIV/AIDS programmes, its impact in the future was assumed to be insignificant. Results of the analysis show that female life expectancy at birth will increase from 43.6 years in 2008 to about 70 years in 2108 while that of males is expected to rise from 42.5 years to 68 years in the same period.

Although there is evidence that fertility will continue to decline, projections show that the population of Liberia will grow for sometime before it stabilizes at higher levels and the age structure of the population is not expected to change in the near future putting additional pressure on the job market, education, the health sector and the labour market.

Though urban areas were used as safety nets during the civil war by rural migrants, these urban areas have potential for growth. This is likely to put pressure on urban infrastructure, water and sanitation facilities, housing, health, labour market, educational and recreation facilities and also increase crimes rate in the future.

There are a number of actions which the government of Liberia has to take. First, there is need to reduce the natural fertility regime which is responsible for population momentum by investing in family planning programmes. Second, there is need to carry out an agricultural census to establish the status of food production and security. In addition, there is need to
regularly review the projections in order to update the existing gaps for proper planning. Finally, there is need to urban population.


Document to download
Population Projection final 110512.pdf - 1855kb
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