MPIDR Working Paper
Stochastic forecast of the population of Poland, 2005 – 2050
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2006-026, 28 pages.
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (August 2006)
Revised November 2007. Published in Demographic Research 17:11, 301-338 (2007).
Forecasting the population of Poland is very challenging. Firstly, the country has been undergoing rapid demographic changes. In the 1990s, Poland experienced a fundamental shift from a communist regime to a democratic regime and entered the European Union in 2004. The political, economic, and social changes that accompanied the transformation had a profound influence on the demographic patterns in this country. International migration has been one of the first consequences of Poland’s entry into the EU, and it is expected to increase in the future. Secondly, the availability of statistics for Poland on past trends is strongly limited. The resulting high uncertainty of future trends should be dealt with systematically, which is an essential part of the stochastic forecast. In this article, we present to the best of our knowledge a first stochastic forecast of the population of Poland. The forecast constitutes a valuable alternative to considering various scenarios that have been applied so far. The forecast results show that the Polish population will constantly decline during the next decades. There is a probability of 50 % that in 2050 the population will number between 27 and 35 millions compared to 38.2 in 2004. Besides, Poland will face significant ageing as indicated by a rising old-age dependency-ratio. In 45 years, there will be at least 63 persons aged 65+ per 100 persons aged 19-64, and this with a probability of 50 %. A description of the most important limitations to the official Polish demographic statistics and an analysis of past trends in fertility, mortality, and international migration are important by-products of this study.
Keywords: Poland, population forecasts