WorldPop Global Demographic Data

Project lead: Andy Tatem

Team: Nikos Tzavidis, Thomas Brinkhoff (Jade University), Dorothea Woods, Duygu Cihan, Maksym Bondarenko, Alex Cunningham, Tom McKeen, Jason Hilton, Alexandra Frosch, Jacqui Cox, Tim O’Riordan

Funding: Gates Foundation

Start: Oct 2022
Completion: Oct 2024

Planning for elections, disease incidence rates, assessing exposure to natural hazards, measuring demand for services, modelling epidemic spreads, and monitoring progress towards development goals—underlying these activities and others is the need for contemporary, accurate, and reliable subnational level data on population sizes and demographic characteristics. Through the integration of ‘traditional’ data from censuses, official estimates and projections, and surveys with digital administrative boundaries, satellite imagery, and geospatial environmental and infrastructure data, this project aims to fill emerging data gaps to improve the spatial detail, timeliness, consistency, and accuracy of demographic data.

The substantial growth in use of WorldPop demographic data, particularly for health, humanitarian- and development-related applications, models and platforms, has led to a major rise in custom requests for maintenance and updates, and in particular, projections beyond 2020. This project will meet the growing demand from the scientific, operational and governmental communities that are reliant on our data. Multiple organisations that already rely on our global data, including most UN agencies, the World Bank, Wellcome Trust, Esri, GAVI, Google, The Global Fund, GRID3, CHAI and USAID, have requested updates and improvements. It is anticipated that the outputs will be readily adopted and integrated into workflows by them.

Project activities are designed to complement, integrate with, and support our work in GRID3, where more in-depth government-driven country-focused demographic modelling, stakeholder engagement and capacity strengthening are undertaken, typically relying and building upon the architecture developed and datasets produced in our global mapping work.

The project will address our commonly received categories of requests. These include small area updates (including forecasts) and increased age group breakdown flexibility. In each case, the project will focus on ensuring that our global mapping work is updated, made more accessible, and include improved documentation. We will also maximise opportunities for training, co-development of methods and use of the data.

Project outputs include:

  • Updated and expanded data to meet evolving end-user requirements.
    • Updates, including forecasts of global gridded age/sex-structured population estimates to 2030.
    • Expanding age group breakdowns.
  • Improved access and reduced barriers to the use of gridded population/demographic datasets and methods.
    • Expand the accessibility and usability of demographic datasets.
    • Improve documentation, communications and develop training materials.