Demography and Human Development:

Education and Population Projections

2013 Occasional Paper
By Lutz, Wolfgang; KC, Samir

Human development can best be studied with models that have human beings rather than monetary or other units at the core of their analysis. Demography, which can also be defined as the mathematics of people, specifies all of its models strictly in terms of human beings according to different relevant characteristics. Hence, it offers a most appropriate approach to the study of human development across the world. Traditionally, demographic analysis has mostly focused on the changing composition of populations by age and gender. But human beings have many observable and measurable characteristics that distinguish one individual from another and that can be considered highly relevant for human development; these characteristics can also be assessed in aggregate and used to distinguish one sub-group of a population from another. Here we will focus on the level of highest educational attainment and to a lesser extent also health status in addition to age and gender.