This spring we hosted our virtual demography series! Hannah Evans, our Senior Analyst, hosted educational sessions once a month from March to June that explored the various ways in which human population trends and dynamics affect global sustainable development and environmental change. Throughout the series, we answered questions such as: What are the precursors for development within a society? What affects fertility rates? What is the relationship between fertility rates, poverty, and access to social and natural resources? What does it mean to employ a “human rights approach” to population and environment studies?
This series covered many topics, including demography, inequality, population growth, fertility, human impacts on the environment, industrialization, the demographic dividend, climate vulnerability, global health, women’s rights, voluntary family planning, climate justice, and reproductive justice.
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To kick off the series, we started by laying the foundations and reviewing the field of study known as “demography.”
We defined important concepts, including age and sex compositions within a country, population projections, processes of urbanization, fertility rates, and migration. This session gives individuals a better understanding of the complex systems that influence demographic patterns.
During this session, we explored the connections between industrialization, living standards, consumption patterns, and the availability of natural resources at regional and societal scales. Additionally, we discussed the relationship between population growth, poverty, fertility rates, and environmental sustainability within the broader contexts of climate change and global inequality.
In this session, we defined the demographic dividend and explored the processes by which it is realized within a society. We discussed how the demographic dividend can be harnessed in ways that promote—rather than inhibit—socio-economic advancement.
Slowing population growth by increasing access to comprehensive reproductive health care, voluntary family planning, and education—especially for women and girls—is necessary for achieving the demographic dividend.
The last session of this series explores how empowering women facilitates development and eases environmental pressures made worse by climate change. We investigated how the status of women affects both sustainability and state stability within a society, especially within the contexts of reproductive health, family planning, and education. This concluding session posits that prioritizing women’s reproductive rights—especially universal access to voluntary family planning—is necessary for achieving more stable and sustainable communities.