Population Projections

The dynamics of population growth in the occupied territories depend basically on the development of mortality, fertility and migration. Moreover, the end result of the current peace process is expected to have a direct influence on the size and direction of population growth in the future. In the absence of census-taking and local demographic data collection and research, we are left with a bare minimum of information regarding the elements affecting population size and structure in the coming years. The only census of the population since the occupation of the occupied territories was conducted in September 1967 by Israel. Since then, demographic parameters of the population have been estimated every now and then by ICBS, local researchers and others. For example, many population figures are available through educated guessing27, projections28 or sampling29 (in rare cases).

Various estimates of possible developments in the population structure have been suggested in ways that invite controversy. There is basically no consensus on any of these estimates30.

Currently, several estimates of population totals are being used by researchers. In this section, however, we are interested in two estimates which are presented by WBDP (1987) and ICBS (1992). The first estimate, which was used in the sampling stage of FALCOT 92 is that of WBDP which comes to 1,836,000 persons in the occupied territories in 1987. Taking the annual growth rate published by ICBS for the years 1988-1991 into account, this total is estimated (for the mid-year of 1992) at 2,117,391 persons. As for the other estimate, ICBS (1992) estimates the population total at the end of 1991 to be 1,838,200. Assuming a continuation of the 1991 rate of increase through the first half of 1992, this estimate becomes 1,885,070 persons for mid-year 1992. These two estimates will be used in this section as base populations for our projections.

In this section, we use the findings of the FALCOT 92 concerning age structure, mortality and fertility to introduce our own estimates and projections of possible developments for the population in the occupied territories. We do not aim here at more than presenting the findings of these projections. Analyses of implications and comparisons are left for future research.
The projections are based on extensive use of the cohort component method. This method uses age structure and patterns of change in mortality, fertility, and annual net migration balance to estimate future changes of the projected population and its demographic characteristics. Except for assumptions concerning population total in 1992 and trends in the net migration balance, all input parameters are estimated by the FALCOT 92.


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