Quotation Lutz, Wolfgang. 2015. The Theory of Demographic Metabolism Applied to World Population and Human Capital Projections in the Context of Sustainable Development. Suessmilch Lecture, Rostock, Deutschland, 22.09.-22.09.




Norman Ryder, in his seminal 1965 article on “the cohort approach” (Ryder 1965) coined the notion of demographic metabolism to describe the process by which societies change through generational replacement. In 2013, the author generalized this to “Demographic Metabolism: A Predictive Theory of Socioeconomic Change” (Lutz 2013). This concept of quantifying and projecting along cohort lines important human characteristics other than age and sex has provided the theoretical foundations for a new set of population projections by age, sex and six levels of educational attainment for all countries in the world. Empirically, it was based on the most comprehensive assessment of the drivers of future fertility, mortality, migration, and education in all parts of the world with the input of more than 500 population experts from around the world who critically assessed alternative arguments associated with likely future trends in these demographic drivers. It explicitly considers educational differences in fertility and mortality and methodologically follows the approach as described in “Global Human Capital: Integrating Education and Population” (Lutz & KC 2011). Five alternative scenarios have been defined in close collaboration with the international climate change and integrated assessment research community who agreed to a set of five so-called Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs). The population scenarios presented for all countries of the world up to 2100 have been labelled “the human core of the SSPs”. The results were published in an OUP volume of over 1000 pages (Lutz et al. 2014). All data can be accessed here.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Paper presented at an academic conference or symposium
Language English
Title The Theory of Demographic Metabolism Applied to World Population and Human Capital Projections in the Context of Sustainable Development
Event Suessmilch Lecture
Year 2015
Date 22.09.-22.09.
Country Germany
Location Rostock
URL http://www.demogr.mpg.de/en/news_press/news_1917/the_theory_of_demographic_metabolism_4275.htm


Lutz, Wolfgang (Former researcher)
Institute for Statistics and Mathematics IN (Details)
Demography Group AB (Former organization)
Research Institute for Human Capital and Development FI (Former organization)
Research areas (Ă–STAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5404 Demography (Details)
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