by Julia Zinkina & Andrey Korotayev
The “medium” population projection series by the UN Population Division forecasts nearcatastrophic population increase for a whole number of Tropical African countries, especially East African ones. However, the projections for Mozambique, appearing somewhat less ominous than those for the neighboring Zambia, Tanzania, and Malawi, do not account for the recent fertility dynamics in Mozambique. Indeed, the projection implies a rather rapid fertility decline, while in reality it has been not just stalled, but even growing during the latest decade. We present our own population projection for Mozambique based on the UN version, but taking into account the recent fertility dynamics. We also model two more demographic scenarios, the “inertial” one (continuation of the current trends) and the “optimistic” one (acceleration to the Iranian pace of fertility transition). We evaluate the difference in terms of total population and various age cohort numbers between these scenarios, and reveal some of their crucial implications for Mozambican development prospects.