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Digital maps for the analysis of temporal and spatial changes in population of Latin America and the Caribbean
Last Update: July 26, 2006
For further information contact: Glenn Hyman

CIAT and partners completed the third version of their population database for Latin America and the Caribbean in March 2005. This web site presents the results of that effort, including digital maps available for download and new documentation reflecting the latest additions and updates to the database. The new version now contains population data from over 18,300 administrative units in the region. New population totals from recent censuses were incorporated for more than 20 countries. The population distributions were estimated using improved spatial data. This initiative is part of continuing efforts to improve the capacity to understand the geographic dimensions of population in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, population grew from 166 million people in 1950 to 513 million in 2000, and is expected to increase to over 800 million by 2050 (Figure 1). Population growth is putting new pressures on less developed areas, like the Amazon basin, where urban areas have grown considerably.

Figure 1. Population Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Decision-makers, researchers and others interested in demographic dynamics need population data for a broad range of analyses in many fields. CIAT's Latin America and Caribbean Population Database provides geographic and historical information on population in the region.

Digital population maps are increasingly used in environmental, demographic, agricultural and economic analysis. The development of this database supports the needs of researchers and analysts to make broad-scale analyses of population for Latin America and the Caribbean. Applications of the data set in the agricultural sector include analysis of the relationship between population growth and agriculture in developing countries, the impact of population pressure on food security, and analyses of the effects of climate change on the rural sector. Key applications of population data for environmental analysis include the impact of population growth on biodiversity, land degradation and resource use. The range of applications for demographic research is extensive, including analyses of urbanization, fertility and migration. Researchers rely on population data to identify people at risk for natural and human-made disasters.

This information resource includes estimates of population between 1960 and 2000 for the 44 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The database is part of larger efforts by CIAT and partners to map global population


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Related Web Sites

UNEP/GRID Sioux Falls Clearinghouse
CIESIN - Gridded Population of the World (GPW) [v2]
LandScan: A Global Population Database for Estimating Populations at Risk
CELADE: Población y Desarrollo

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