Technical Specifications: Total population (thousands)

Indicator name
(English / Spanish)
Total population (thousands)
Población total (en miles)
Indicator ID Pop_Num_1000
Domain Sociodemographic
Subdomain Demographic
Definition

The population of a country, territory or geographic area, total or for a given sex and / or age group, at a specific point in time. It is the total number of inhabitants that actually live within the border limits of the country, territory or geographic area at a specific point of time, usually mid-year. The mid-year population refers to the de facto population as of July 1.

The de facto population as of 1st. July: it is assumed that the reference period is year z and that the births that occur are distributed evenly throughout that period, the average population will be represented by a mid-year estimate, that is as of July 1.

Unit Thousands
Measure Absolute magnitude
Type of statistics Corrected / Predicted
Purpose

The total population is used to prepare population estimates and projections, together with other population-based demographic indicators, such as the general mortality rate, the mortality rate by cause of death, the birth rate, the proportion of the population under 15-year-olds or the proportion of the population aged 65 and over.

This indicator allows dimensioning the target population of government actions and services, contributing to the budget allocation and the planning, management and evaluation of public policies related to health, education, work and social security.

Method of estimation

For countries with a population greater than 90 thousand inhabitants, the figures are estimates from the United Nations, based on data that represent values estimated as of July 1st, obtained by linear interpolation of the corresponding five-year population projections of the United Nations, using the medium-variant projections.

For countries with less than 90 thousand inhabitants, the figures are estimates from the US Census Bureau International Database. The US Census Bureau population projections are based on the cohort component method.

The estimated population is calculated using a change model component that incorporates information on the natural increase (births, deaths) and net migration (net national migration, net international migration) that have occurred in an area since the last decennial census.

Interpretation example

The total population of country A during 2018 was 36,953,800 inhabitants.

Disaggregation
  • Gender: male, female
  • Age:
    • 0 -1 year
    • 1 - 4 years
    • 5 - 14 years
    • 15 – 24 years
    • 25 - 44 years
    • 45 – 64 years
    • 65 – 74 years
    • 75+ years
Limitations

The international comparability of this indicator may be affected by the periodicity in the application of population censuses and demographic surveys. Population censuses are generally carried out every 10 years. Surveys have a frequency that varies between different countries, survey sampling error also influences comparability. The value of the indicator also depends on the adequate coverage of the civil registration system (greater than 90%), on the fact that deaths and births are registered in the system in a timely manner, and on the integrity of the national registry.

The estimated value of this indicator may differ from the calculations made by each country, due to factors such as small methodological differences, for example, to formulate population estimates and projections.

Data source

For countries with a population greater than 90 thousand inhabitants:
United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. World Population Prospects. Available in:United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. World Population Prospects. Available from: https://population.un.org/wpp/

For countries with a population of less than 90 thousand inhabitants:
Census Bureau of the United States of America. International database. Available in: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/international-programs/about/idb.html

PAHO update periodicity Annual
Link to SDG

n/a

References
PAHO Contact Andrea Gerger, gergeran@paho.org
Update date August 13, 2021