29 November 2012
Canberra, Australia

Public Lecture at the Australian National University

Wolfgang Lutz presents the first results of POP's new comprehensive and inclusive population and human capital projections

From 27-29 November the IUSSP International Seminar on Population Dynamics and the Human Dimensions of Climate Change, organized by the IUSSP Scientific Panel on Climate Change in collaboration with the Australian National University, aims to bring together researchers who are working in the new field of population dynamics and climate change. To assess the scientific progress made to date, share and consolidate on-going research and discuss priorities for future research are the key points of the event.

On the margins of the seminar and as a member of the IUSSP Scientific Panel on Climate Change Wolfgang Lutz will give a public lecture entitled "Human resources for sustainable development: The Demography of Human Capital Formation".

The lecture will provide an opportunity for people, both at the Australian National University and outside the university, who are not involved in the conference to hear about new insights into the human dimensions of climate change.


Both the Rio 1992 and Rio+20 Declarations stress that human beings are at the centre of concern for sustainable development. People matter both as carriers of rights and needs and as the ones who help meet these needs and are the agents of change toward sustainability. But not all individuals have the same capabilities for doing so. They tend to differ by age, gender, level of education, health status and other individual characteristics. Hence the conventional analysis and projection of populations by only age and sex is not good enough for this purpose. We also need to explicitly model other relevant characteristics.

As an important first step in this direction IIASA’s World Population Program has over the last decade applied the methods of multi-dimensional mathematical demography (which were developed at IIASA during the 1970s) to reconstructing and projecting the changing distributions by age, gender, and level of highest educational attainment for all countries in the world for the period 1970-2100. The reconstructed data have already been used for new assessments of the benefits of education for issues ranging from economic growth to health, to quality of governance and reducing the vulnerability to natural disasters. These projections are also the basis for the “human core” of the new SSPs (Shared Socioeconomic Pathways) for which IIASA produces the population scenarios by age, gender and education. In this speech I will present the first results of our major new effort to produce the so far most comprehensive and most inclusive (based on the input of over 600 international experts) population and human capital projections for all countries. A few selected new and surprising insights will be highlighted.

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Last edited: 06 February 2013

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