Language: English Français

# What is the correct population percentage proportion to use when consider 0-5 years in developing countries?

This question was posted the Assessment and Surveillance forum area and has 10 replies.

### Marie McGrath

ENN

Frequent user

7 Jun 2011, 16:22

Dear Anon, You have actually spotted a typo in the Operational Guidance on IFE. The foonote should read 24 months - <60 months: 12.5% and not 0-<60 months as it currently states. This gives a total of 17.6% for children U5s, that you could round to 18% (used by WHO). So the corrected version should read: 'As a guide, in a developing country population with a high birth rate, the expected proportions are: infants 0-6 months:1.35%; 6-<12 months:1.25%; children 12-<24 months: 2.5%; children 24-< 60 months (5 years): 12.5%; pregnant and lactating women: 5-7% depending on the average duration of breastfeeding. N.B. These figures are approximations and will depend on birth rate and infant mortality rate.' Well spotted. We'll get the Operational Guidance corrected. Marie

### Anonymous 557

Normal user

7 Jun 2011, 16:41

Hi, Thanks for this update Marie but I want to query where you get the 18% from - you mention WHO but in the WHO Food and Nutrition Needs in Emergencies it say 0-<5 is 12.37%. Also, there is confusion in the new Sphere with 0-6m at 1.32% of the pop, 7-11 months at 0.95%, 1-3 years ta 6.58% and 4-6 years at 6.41% - with reference on UN (2003) World Population Prospects. The 2002 Revision..... Unfortunately there isn't a breakdown detailing 0-<5 years in this as far as I can see, which is a shame as this is what many of us need for planning purposes. Any thoughts anyone? Thanks,

### Mark Myatt

Frequent user

7 Jun 2011, 17:32

The proportion of the population aged below five years will vary from place to place. In developing countries with a high birth rate this is usually about 18%. For sample size calculations we usually round up to 20% (this is to give a bigger sample size if a finite population correction is applied). The proportion aged below five years is usually reported in census reports.

### Marie McGrath

ENN

Frequent user

8 Jun 2011, 09:14

Dear Anon, Just to add the WHO reference for 18% 0-<5 years: RAPID HEALTH ASSESSMENT PROTOCOLS FOR EMERGENCIES, By WHO - OMS, 1999 Annex 2. http://www.healthlibrary.com/book51.htm

### Doc SZ

Medical Officer

Normal user

4 Aug 2016, 06:24

Hi,
What about population percentage proportion in developing countries? is it different from developed countries?

### esther

medic

Normal user

6 Feb 2020, 10:43

hi, concerning your response above, do you have a reference i can quote on using 20% of the adult population? i will be very grateful. Thank you

### Mark Myatt

Frequent user

7 Feb 2020, 10:22

It was common, for many years, to assume that 20% or the total population in developing will be 5 years of age or younger. You can check this against census data ... when you do this you will often find that 20% is often a slight overestimate. I think you fill find 18% to be a good average.

The importance of the difference from 20% will depend upon the application. I think it better to always use the best estimate available. I tend to use census tables which are usually available here.

20% will be a gross overestimate in developed countries. In the UK (e.g.) the true proportion is about 6%.

The proportion changes over time. For example, in Kenya in 2010 it was about 17% and it is now (2020) thought to be about 13%.

I hope this is of some value.

### Rita Bhatia

Public health nutrition

Frequent user

7 Feb 2020, 12:09

Agree with Mark to use census data - however in absence of Census data - a useful guide-  reference" Food and nutrition needs in emergency" - a handbook published by the UN Agencies , available on WHO link - quoted 12.37 % of children 0-4 ( below five years. There is a table in the annex on page 38 providing break down of various age groups percentages.

### Mark Myatt

Frequent user

7 Feb 2020, 13:31

Thanks Rita.

The US Census Bureau's International Database (link in my previous post) is is quite extensive. If data is missing (e.g. a census analysis is late) then project values are reported. These are based on sophisticated demographic models applied by sophisticated demographers. I have also used Wolfram Alpha

https://www.wolframalpha.com

with queries such as "Population East Timor". This reports data from the UN Statistics Division (UNData) compiled by the UN Population Division aswell as data from the CIA World Factbook.

### Mohamed Abdinasir

Normal user

7 Feb 2020, 14:27

Thanks all friends,  I agree with my friends  that the precentage population of   0-5 yrs  are  usually applied 20% in the current context programms.