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World Population and Human Capital in the 21st Century

November 25, 2014 • Daily Email Recap

World Population and Human Capital in the 21st Century

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With UN demographers more certain than ever that global population will reach between 10 and 12 billion by the end of the century, the challenge of building a sustainable future seems daunting. But according to Wolfgang Lutz, founding director of the Vienna-basedWittgenstein Center for Demography and Global Human Capital, these projections miss one crucial variable: increasing levels of education.

Through a groundbreaking, peer-review-style inquiry of over 500 experts, the Wittgenstein Center found that education, particularly female secondary education, is an important demographic variable that not only affects growth trajectories, but development paths and adaptive capacity to climate change.

Lutz and his colleagues determined that between the best and worst-case scenarios of future educational expansion, there’s a difference of more than 1 billion people in projected population growth by 2050 alone, and based on expected levels investment in education, global population will peak around 9.4 billion in the 2070s and decline to 9 billion by 2100.

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Current World Population


Net Growth During Your Visit