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Global Population Growth

1. Long-Term Global Population Trends

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about some key long-term trends in global demography, focusing in particular on: (i) population growth, especially the rapid increase in the world’s population since the late-nineteenth century, and its causes in terms of the decrease in infant mortality and lengthening of life expectancy; (ii) the reasons for these changes, such as expansion of public healthcare and improvements in medical technologies; (iii) whether this growth will continue, with particular reference to the decline in recent decades of the fertility rate to below replacement level – the number of children per adult woman needed to keep the population at its current size.


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 - Long-Term Global Population Trends [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Goldin, I. "Global Population Growth – Long-Term Global Population Trends." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 10 Dec 2021,

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