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Global Population Growth

3. Consumption and Population Ageing

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about some issues associated with demographic change, focusing in particular on: (i) human consumption of natural resources and its negative environmental impacts, in which we consider the important question of whether such problems are the result of global overpopulation or overconsumption in wealthier countries; (ii) population ageing and its causes, most notably the lengthening of life expectancy and decline in fertility; (iii) the impacts of population ageing, such as the growth in the dependency ratio – the proportion of society who are not working and so depend economically on those of working age.


In this course, Professor Ian Goldin (University of Oxford) considers the causes, consequences and future of global population growth, centring on a single key question – is the planet full? In the first lecture, we explore global population growth throughout history and whether this will continue into the future, arguing that declining fertility rates suggest not. In the second lecture, we look at this decline, its global nature, its causes and its consequences for future demographic patterns. Next, we think about two issues associated with demographic change – consumption and its environmental impacts, and population ageing. In the fourth and final lecture, we consider the future of population growth in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and conclude by addressing the question of whether the planet is full.


Professor Ian Goldin is Professor of Globalisation and Development and founder of the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford. He has a wide-ranging expertise in the field of development, and has held high-level positions at numerous international development agencies such as the OECD and World Bank in addition to his academic work. His publications include Rescue: From Global Crisis to a Better World (2021), Development: A Very Short Introduction (2018), The Pursuit of Development: Economic Growth, Social Change and Ideas (2016), and Is the Planet Full? (2014, editor).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Goldin, I. (2021, December 10). Global Population Growth - Consumption and Population Ageing [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Goldin, I. "Global Population Growth – Consumption and Population Ageing." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 10 Dec 2021,

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