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Education -- a key determinant of population growth and human well-being
Date:7/29/2011

y in terms of their assumptions about future school enrolment rates.

"The most ambitious, or 'fast track' (FT) scenario we apply assumes all countries expand their school system at the fastest possible ratethis is comparable with past, best performing countries, Singapore and South Korea, says co-author Samir K.C.."The most pessimistic scenario of 'constant enrollment numbers' (CEN), assumes no new schools are built and the number of people attending schools remains constant, which, under conditions of population growth, means declining enrolment rates."

"Under these two extreme scenarios, population size in 2050 could vary by as much as 1 billionwith 8.8 billion people expected under the fast track scenario and as many as 9.9 billion under the constant enrolment numbers scenario, as can be seen in figure 1. The effect is greatest in countries with current high fertility rates and high education differentials," he stated.

Kenya's population, as an example, would increase from 31 million in 2000, to 85 million in 2050, under the optimistic FT scenario. Under the pessimistic CEN scenario with no new schools, Kenya's population could increase to 114 million. The difference of 30 million between these extremes is equivalent to the size of Kenya's population in 2000. As the scenarios only consider the individual-level effects, not the broader community-level impacts that education can have such as better availability of reproductive health services, the results are likely to be an underestimate of potential population change.

The authors emphasize that the effect of better education on population growth may not be obvious for some time. This is because the effect on fertility of girls entering school now may not be evident for about 15 years, when they enter their prime child bearing years.

The study supports earlier findings by IIASA and the VID regarding the level of educational attainment needed to bring about changes
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Contact: Leane Regan
regan@iiasa.ac.at
43-066-444-30368
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
Source:Eurekalert

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