In 2016, the World Population Program (POP) will incorporate health and place of residence (urban/rural) into its multidimensional population models, and develop sub-national projections for India and China. It will also include labor force participation to help assess the impacts of migration and launch activities in population-based sustainability science, focusing on sustainability criteria based on wellbeing.
In particular we plan to:
- Expand the IIASA multidimensional model of population dynamics to include the urban/rural place of residence for all countries.
- Define and test alternative specifications of Empowered Life Years—the number of years a person can be expected to be alive and to be “empowered” in terms of health, ability to read, subjective life satisfaction, and living without poverty.
- Produce the first systematic projections of new indicators of aging, which will explicitly reflect additional dimensions for most European countries and selected other countries that are part of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (the number of countries is limited by data availability). This analysis will go beyond the conventional simplistic indicators that reflect only chronological age.
- Provide national planners with data pertaining to likely proportions of urban populations and the changing age and education structure of urban populations.
- Undertake science-policy dialogues on new measures of aging and the relationship to macroeconomic impacts of demographic trends, for example, retirement and pensions.
Over the coming years POP hopes to make contributions redirecting the international population policy discussions away from a narrow Malthusian focus on population growth alone, to a multidimensional perspective with explicit consideration of age structures, place of residence, education, and health. This implies a fundamental change to the policy paradigm where people are not primarily seen as a problem to be contained but rather to strengthen human capabilities as a resource for achieving sustainable development.