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Books and Reports

Demographic and Human Capital Scenarios for the 21st Century

This volume presents different scenarios of future population and human capital trends in 201 countries of the world to the end of this century to inform the assessment of possible future migration patterns into the EU, as currently carried out by the Centre of Expertise on Population and Migration (CEPAM) Project (collaboration between JRC and IIASA). The study also goes beyond the conventional population projections, which only consider age and sex structures, by taking a multi-dimensional approach through adding educational attainment for all countries and also labour force participation for EU member states.

The definition of scenarios in this study follows the narratives of the SSPs (Shared Socioeconomic Pathways) which are widely used in the global change research community. The Medium scenario (SSP2) foresees that fertility and mortality follow a medium pathway, which can be seen as most likely from today’s perspective. The scenario of Rapid Development (SSP1) assumes rapid increases in life expectancy, a faster fertility decline in high fertility countries and an education expansion path that follows the education goals given by the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). The Stalled Development scenario (SSP3) presents a divided world, foreseeing a stall in educational expansion in developing countries as well as continued high fertility and high mortality. Moreover, these scenarios also serve policy considerations in many other fields, ranging from the economic consequences of population ageing to development priorities in Africa, global population and environment interactions.

This volume also serves as an update of the scenarios presented in the 2014 Oxford University Press book entitled ‘World Population and Human Capital in the 21st Century’ (Lutz et al 2014), which includes the most comprehensive summary of different possible scientific arguments underlying the assumptions of future fertility, mortality, migration and education trends in different parts of the world with input from over 550 population experts. This new 2018 assessment also has a new 2015 baseline and adjusts the near term (up to 2030) fertility and mortality assumptions accordingly, while maintaining the long term assumptions as justified in the 2014 book. In terms of migration, it combines three rough migration assumptions – zero migration, constant rates as observed over the past 60 years and double those rates – with medium fertility and mortality trends to illustrate the sensitivity of longer term population trends to alternative migration intensities