Theoretical Framework

Population forecasting: epistemological considerations

Anatole Romaniuk


In this paper the author reflects on what forecasting is, defined therein as prospective analysis (as opposed to simulation and prediction proper). As such, the paper constitutes a significant departure from the mainstream view of forecasting by shifting the emphasis from the predictability paradigm to the impact paradigm, from forecast as discovering to forecast as creating the future. Today we have access to tools that have a wide range of applicability and are of various degrees of sophistication, depending on the particular future-directed task at hand, and also having a better understanding of the role of forecasting. We are better equipped, technologically and hopefully also cognitively, to manage the future. It is easy to recognize that this author’s stance towards the future — prospects and events that loom on the horizon — is distinctly proactive and not merely submissive or reactive. Though some of the issues  raised in this paper have been  discussed  elsewhere  by the author and other writes, the paper  offers a coherent, well rounded, synthesis of  epistemological assessment of forecasting, and  as such is likely to be of  interest to both producers and  users  thereof.


Anatole ROMANIUK, Adjunct professor, Ph.D., Department of Sociology, University of Alberta, Canada. E-mail:

DOI: 10.4402/genus-153


Population, future, forecasting, prospective analysis, management, epistemology.

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ISSN: 2035-5556

Reg. Tribunale di Roma n. 3321/54