I’ve just noticed that the autumn edition of Options Magazine (published by the Vienna-based IIASA, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis) is entitled Asia’s Future: What Research Reveals.
The whole edition is interesting, but especially interesting for readers of this weblog is the section: India’s Window Of Opportunity. This is a rerun of many of the arguments that can be found in this earlier post of mine. There are one or two nice extra details though. Especially this part:
“Strong investment in education, particularly for women, is likely to slow India’s population growth. Women with higher levels of education have lower fertility rates than less-educated women. In India today, women without formal education have on average 3.8 children, while women with some tertiary education have fewer than 2.0. Although fertility is likely to decline for all educational groups, the differential by level of education is also likely to continue in the future. Hence, the uncertainty about the future educational composition of the population, which depends on future education policies, also directly translates into uncertainty concerning future average fertility levels and, consequently, the future population size of the whole country.”
The projection is based on this study (Lutz W & Scherbov S (2004). Probabilistic population projections for India with explicit consideration of the education–fertility link. International Statistical Review 72(1): 81–92) and Wolfgang Lutz and Sergei Scherbov were the first to take this kind of uncertainty about future education into account when forecasting India’s population. They are in fact world leaders in probablistic population forecasting as a string of Nature articles on their part demonstrates. What more can I say. Read the Options article!