13 world regions

This research note presents the first global population projections by educational attainment using methods of multi-state population projection. The educational composition of the population by age and sex and educational fertility differentials are estimated for 13 world regions, and alternative scenarios are presented to the year 2030.

Education is generally assumed to have far-reaching beneficial consequences. At the individual level more education tends to imply better health, wider economic opportunities, and greater autonomy, especially for women (Federici, Mason, and Sogner 1993; Jejeebhoy 1995). At the aggregate level the educational composition of the population has long been considered a key factor in economic, institutional, and social development (Bellew, Raney, and Subbarao 1992; Benavot 1989; Hadden and London 1996) and in the rate of technological progress (Grossman and Helpman 1991; Romer 1992). The extensive theoretical and empirical literature on the relationship between human capital formation and various aspects of development is not reviewed here. Instead, this research note demonstrates the feasibility of multi-state cohort component population projections for groups defined by different educational attainment. With the increasing importance of education in knowledge-based economy, this approach can make a contribution not only to the field of demography, but also to long-range economic planning. 


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Last edited: 22 July 2013


Anne Goujon

Research Scholar

World Population

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