January 19, 2022

Research Tools: U.S. Census Announces 2018 Update of International Data Base

From the U.S. Census:

The U.S. Census Bureau’s International Data Base update provides demographic revisions for 23 countries. Ten of these countries are in sub-Saharan Africa, six are in Europe, and the rest are in the Middle East, North America, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Revised estimates and projections are available for Belize, Burkina Faso, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Denmark, Dominican Republic, eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), Gabon, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Jamaica, Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Nigeria, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, South Sudan, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.


The current update incorporates newly available data from censuses, surveys and administrative records, as well as updated analyses based on those data. Populations are always changing. For larger populations the change is typically gradual. On the other hand, smaller populations and those experiencing the demographic shocks of war, natural disasters, epidemics and famine can experience dramatic short-term changes.

Gradual and dramatic short-term population changes from the update include those taking place in Nigeria and South Sudan, as highlighted here:

  • For Nigeria, projections forecast the population to surpass that of the United States before mid-century, making it the third most populous country in the world. The primary reason for this is the higher fertility rate in Nigeria.
  • South Sudan, which became an independent state in 2011, has experienced turmoil – civil war, famine-like conditions, ethnic violence and increases in HIV/AIDS and other diseases. This has had effects on key demographic processes related to fertility, mortality and migration, which are so extreme that the updated population estimate of the country for 2018 is far smaller than the estimate made prior to the crises.

The International Data Base is a series of estimates and projections that provide a consistent set of demographic indicators, including population size and growth (by sex and single year of age up to 100 and over) and components of change (mortality, fertility and net migration) for more than 200 countries and areas. The Census Bureau periodically updates the International Data Base as new data become available.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.