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GEO-3: GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT OUTLOOK  
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The changing population

The region's population has increased by about 74 per cent from 299 million in 1972 to an estimated 519 million in 2000. However, the annual population growth rate dropped from 2.48 to 1.52 per cent over the same period, largely as a result of changes in birth patterns - fertility rates halved from 5.6 children per woman in 1970 to 2.7 children per woman by 1999. Population growth rates are now highest in Meso-America, 1.78 per cent, and lowest in the Caribbean, 1.04 per cent (compiled from United Nations Population Division 2001).

Population (millions) by sub-region: Latin America and the Caribbean

Although the region's population grew by 74 per cent during 1972-2000, the growth rate dropped from 2.48 to 1.52 per cent a year over the same period

Source: compiled from United Nations Population Division 2001