Population projections are predictions of the size and composition of a population at a future date. They are based on certain assumptions that are made about the components of population change, i.e., fertility, mortality and migration, over the projection horizon. Projections are useful for planning, guiding policy and determining future demands for social and other services.
The component method was used to make population estimates and projections for Belize (1980-2050) for five-year projection intervals; 1980 formed the base year and available data from different sources was assessed. Sources of data included the 1980, 1991 and 2000 Belize Population and Housing Censuses, vital statistics, the 1991 and 1999 Family Health Surveys and the Investigation of International Migration in Latin America (IMILA). Realistic assumptions were then made about fertility, mortality and migration patterns in Belize over the projection horizon.
In the population projections for Belize presented below, four different scenarios were developed to reflect these varying assumptions. They are the high, medium, low and constant scenarios and are consistent with differing levels of population growth; the medium scenario is usually favored.
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