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How far have we come, and where are we headed? Reaching 8 billion humans on the planet

As the global population reaches eight billion, we bring together population experts to explore questions from the major demographic changes in the last decades to future dynamics as they relate to ageing and fertility.
  • When: 15 November from 1 to 2 PM CET
  • Where: Online, Zoom

As the global population reaches eight billion, we bring together population experts to explore the following questions: what major demographic changes have occurred in the last decades and what can we predict for the near future? From historical decreases in mortality rates to low fertility and more diverse societies, are countries moving in the same direction? To what extent have government interventions affected demographic behaviours? How low can fertility decline? Because of the age structure of the world population, growth is in part inevitable, raising crucial questions about future global trends, among them: How can population growth be decoupled from potential negative impacts to sustainable development? How might intergenerational support systems look in the future so that generations can work together? Can societies become truly child- and family-friendly?


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  • Jane Falkingham, Director of the ESRC Centre for Population Change, PI of the ESRC Connecting Generations and Professor of Demography and International Social Policy, University of Southampton.
  • Bruno Masquelier, Professor at the Centre for Demographic Research, Louvain University.
  • Tomáš Sobotka, Head of the VID research group on Fertility and Family, Vienna Institute of Demography (OeAW), Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna), Vienna.
  • Frank Swiaczny, Senior Researcher at the German Federal Institute for Population Research and Executive Director of the German Society for Demography.
  • Helga de Valk, Director of the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) and Professor of Migration and the Life Course at the University of Groningen.