The impact of population and economic growth on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals

Iñaki Permanyer, Centre d’Estudis Demogràfics (CED), UAB

In September 2000, the United Nations (henceforth UN) presented the Millennium Declaration, a milestone in international cooperation inspiring development efforts in order to improve the living conditions of millions of people around the world. The Millennium Declaration committed the world nations to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and setting out a series of time-bound targets – with a deadline of 2015 – by which progress in reducing income poverty, hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter and exclusion – while promoting gender equality, health, education and environmental sustainability – can be measured. These time-bound targets have become known as the Millennium Development Goals (henceforth MDGs). The MDGs project is one of the major efforts undertaken by the international community to fulfill the promise for a better world. In this paper, we aim to investigate the nature and significance of the impact of population and economic growth on the achievement of the MDGs. Will the dramatic rise in the number of people be an obstacle to reduce poverty while improving global health, expanding education and promoting environmental sustainability? Or will the historically unprecedented increases in GDP per capita improve the overall quality of life around the globe? Which of these two forces will be more decisive in driving the success of countries towards MDGs achievement? These are the main questions this papers aims to address.

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Presented in Session 65: Population, development and environment interactions