Population projections : results and brief analysis of five projection variants 2015-2050

For the 2015-2050 Curaçao population projections five variants are composed by making five different combinations from a set of two fertility assumptions, one mortality assumption and four migration assumptions. Migration is the component with the largest impact on population development in Curaçao and therefore plays a dominant role in the population projections. The cohort component method is used for the projections. The standard migration variant, constant fertility variant, high
immigration variant and the emigration wave variant represent likely scenarios of future population growth, i.e. forecasts. The zero-migration variant is not a realistic scenario, and can be merely used as a frame of reference. Future population growth in Curaçao will be largest for the high immigration variant which yields a population size of almost 220,000 persons in 2050. Mass emigration (emigration wave) in the near future will lead to a population decline, which may cause the population size to reduce to about 146,000 persons in 2050. The standard migration and constant fertility scenarios project a population size of around 178,000 and 189,000 persons respectively. Without international migration the population size will slowly start to decrease to reach a little fewer than 155,000 persons in 2050. The
population growth rate is expected to decline and eventually become negative in all variants, except the high immigration variant. All projection variants show that population aging is irreversible and has a big impact on the population. High positive net migration slows the aging process whereas an emigration wave speeds
up the aging process. As life expectancy is set to increase further towards 2050, the median age of the population is expected to be between 46 and 52 years in 2050.

The population aged 65 years or older is estimated to make up between 24 and 30 percent of the Curaçaoan population in 2050. It is expected that in 2050 every elderly person will be economically dependent on half the number of working-age persons (about 2 persons) compared to 2015 (about 4 persons). At the same time, due to a declining fertility rate, the proportion of youth in the population is expected to decline from 19 percent in 2015 to somewhere between 14 and 17 percent in 2050. If the fertility rate will remain constant at the 2015 level, the 'dejuvenation' of the population will be less severe than in the case of an emigration wave, which, of all projection variants, will cause the largest decline in the share of youth in the population. Decomposition of the standard migration variant shows that future population growth is mainly driven by migration, which accounts for about 15 percent growth of the population between 2015 and 2050. The increasing life expectancy adds almost 4 percent to the 2015 population and the age structure of the baseline population accounts for about one percent of the population growth. Fertility
decline, on the other hand, reduces the population by six percent between 2015 and 2050. Altogether, a population growth of 13 percent is expected in the standard migration variant.

Download the publication here: Population Projections 2015-2050