Global human capital: integrating education and population

Science. 2011 Jul 29;333(6042):587-92. doi: 10.1126/science.1206964.


Almost universally, women with higher levels of education have fewer children. Better education is associated with lower mortality, better health, and different migration patterns. Hence, the global population outlook depends greatly on further progress in education, particularly of young women. By 2050, the highest and lowest education scenarios--assuming identical education-specific fertility rates--result in world population sizes of 8.9 and 10.0 billion, respectively. Better education also matters for human development, including health, economic growth, and democracy. Existing methods of multi-state demography can quantitatively integrate education into standard demographic analysis, thus adding the "quality" dimension.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Birth Rate
  • Developed Countries
  • Economic Development*
  • Educational Status*
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mortality
  • Population Dynamics*
  • Population Growth
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sex Distribution