Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Projections of future population trends that do not explicitly include education in their analysis may be flawed

Date:
July 28, 2011
Source:
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
Summary:
Future trends in global population growth could be significantly affected by improvements in both the quality and quantity of education, particularly female education. Projections of future population trends that do not explicitly include education in their analysis may be flawed, according to new research.

Future trends in global population growth could be significantly affected by improvements in both the quality and quantity of education, particularly female education. Projections of future population trends that do not explicitly include education in their analysis may be flawed, according to research published in the journal Science.

The study uses a novel "multi-state" population modeling approach to incorporate education attainment level, along with age and sex. The integration of education in the analyses adds a "human quality" dimension to projections of fertility, mortality and migration. As education also affects health, economic growth, and democracy, these projections provide a more comprehensive picture of where, how, and under what conditions human well-being is increasing.

The research reinforces earlier findings that the level of formal education achieved by women is, in most cases, the single most important determinant of population growth. More educated women generally have fewer children, better general health, and higher infant survival rates. Education also appears to be a more important determinant of child survival than household income and wealth. The study also found that if concerted efforts were made to fast track education, the global population could remain below 9 billion by 2050. Thus the global population outlook depends greatly on further progress in education.

Researchers Wolfgang Lutz and Samir K.C. from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), the Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) and the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), evaluated the effect of education on population growth to 2050 using four alternative education scenarios. The scenarios are based on identical sets of education-specific fertility, mortality, and migration rates. They differ only in terms of their assumptions about future school enrolment rates.

"The most ambitious, or 'fast track' (FT) scenario we apply assumes all countries expand their school system at the fastest possible rate -- this is comparable with past, best performing countries, Singapore and South Korea, says co-author Samir K.C.."The most pessimistic scenario of 'constant enrollment numbers' (CEN), assumes no new schools are built and the number of people attending schools remains constant, which, under conditions of population growth, means declining enrolment rates."

"Under these two extreme scenarios, population size in 2050 could vary by as much as 1 billion-with 8.8 billion people expected under the fast track scenario and as many as 9.9 billion under the constant enrolment numbers scenario .... The effect is greatest in countries with current high fertility rates and high education differentials," he stated.

Kenya's population, as an example, would increase from 31 million in 2000, to 85 million in 2050, under the optimistic FT scenario. Under the pessimistic CEN scenario with no new schools, Kenya's population could increase to 114 million. The difference of 30 million between these extremes is equivalent to the size of Kenya's population in 2000. As the scenarios only consider the individual-level effects, not the broader community-level impacts that education can have such as better availability of reproductive health services, the results are likely to be an underestimate of potential population change.

The authors emphasize that the effect of better education on population growth may not be obvious for some time. This is because the effect on fertility of girls entering school now may not be evident for about 15 years, when they enter their prime child bearing years.

The study supports earlier findings by IIASA and the VID regarding the level of educational attainment needed to bring about changes in fertility, with secondary education bringing greater reductions in fertility than primary education alone.

The research highlights the strong link between economic growth and 'human capital' -- the combination of health status and the education levels achieved by adults. Better education affects many aspects of human development, including health, economic growth, and democracy.

The study by Wolfgang Lutz and Samir K. C., from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, the Vienna Institute of Demography of the Austrian Academy of Science, and the Vienna University of Economics and Business (all three institutions have merged their scientific strengths and collaborate in the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital) is published in the latest issue of Science. Reference: Global Human Capital: Integrating Education and Population. Science July 29 2011. Lutz W. and Samir K. C.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. W. Lutz, S. KC. Global Human Capital: Integrating Education and Population. Science, 2011; 333 (6042): 587 DOI: 10.1126/science.1206964

Cite This Page:

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. "Projections of future population trends that do not explicitly include education in their analysis may be flawed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110728144939.htm>.
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. (2011, July 28). Projections of future population trends that do not explicitly include education in their analysis may be flawed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110728144939.htm
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. "Projections of future population trends that do not explicitly include education in their analysis may be flawed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110728144939.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) — Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) — Fears are mounting in Bangkok that poor planning and lax law enforcement are tipping Thailand towards a waste crisis. Duration: 01:21 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) — California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) — In the midst of a historic drought, Los Angeles is increasing efforts to go after people who waste water. Five water conservation "cops" drive around the city every day educating homeowners about the drought. Duration: 02:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins