These four fact sheets provide quick summaries of timely topics:
World Population Trends 2012
by Carl Haub
World population grew to 7.06 billion in mid-2012 after having passed the 7 billion mark in 2011. Developing countries accounted for 97 percent of this growth because of the dual effects of high birth rates and young populations. Conversely, in the developed countries the annual number of births barely exceeds deaths because of low birth rates and much older populations. By 2025, it is likely that deaths will exceed births in the developed countries, the first time this will have happened in history.
Global Burden of Noncommunicable Diseases
by Wendy Baldwin and Lindsey Amato
Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), also referred to as chronic diseases, are the leading causes of death worldwide. In 2008, 80 percent of NCD deaths were in developing countries, up from 40 percent in 1990. NCDs will steadily increase the number of healthy years (or disability-adjusted life years—DALYs) lost in middle-income countries, but the loss will increase very quickly in low-income countries. By 2030, low-income countries will have eight times more deaths attributed to NCDs than high-income countries.
Unmet Need for Family Planning
by James N. Gribble
Even when women do not want to have more children or want to wait to have another child, many of them are not using effective methods of family planning; these women have an "unmet need" for family planning. Global advocacy and development initiatives, including the recent 2012 London Summit on Family Planning, are highlighting the importance of reaching women who have an unmet need for family planning with information and services that will enable them to space their pregnancies and achieve their desired family size.
The Decline in U.S. Fertility
by Mark Mather
In the United States and other developed countries, fertility tends to drop during periods of economic decline. U.S. fertility rates fell to low levels during the Great Depression (1930s), around the time of the 1970s "oil shock," and since the onset of the recent recession in 2007. The U.S. total fertility rate (TFR) stood at 2.0 births per woman in 2009, but preliminary data from the National Center for Health Statistics show that the TFR dropped to 1.9 in 2010—well below the replacement level of 2.1. This recent fertility decline may be just a short-term response to high unemployment rates, or it may signal a longer-term drop in lifetime fertility.