Outline of the project


Since 1950 the world population has by now tripled reaching the total of 7 billion. The number of people inhabiting the planet continues to grow at a rapid pace: by the year 2050 over nine billion people will be living on Earth. However, worldwide growth is characterised by regional differences. While the population in most of the industrialised countries is increasing slightly or even shrinking – Germany is set to lose about twelve million people by 2050 – the demographic weight of the majority of the developing countries is, in contrast, growing intensely.

The lion's share of long-term population growth takes place in the sub-Saharan region. Many of these countries are likely to double or even triple their demographic weight by 2050. As a result, extreme poverty as well as serious, pre-existing development challenges in this area will once again increase. Today 74 per cent of the people living in sub-Saharan Africa live on less than two US-dollars per day. The nutrition standards are often critical. In addition, the education and health systems are poor in such a way that they fail to provide the growing number of people with the necessary services. A downward spiral of poverty is thus foreseeable. This situation, which threatens to jeopardise the achievement of the 'Millennium Development Goals' (MDG), puts the international community under immense pressure.

Countless women in sub-Saharan Africa are having more children than they want to. They lack universal access to efficient contraceptive methods as well as to information on family planning and, to a certain extent, scope to development. In order to effectively reduce poverty in Africa and render development possible, higher investments in reproductive and sexual health, including family planning, are urgently needed.

The European public campaign brings this topic more into the public eye. As groundwork for the campaign, the Berlin-Institute for Population and Development in co-operation with the International Institute for Applied System Analysis is releasing a study, whose results shall be discussed in autumn 2011 at an international conference in Berlin with experts from all over the world. Moreover, workshops in selected African countries are planned with the purpose of handing the results of the study to the political decision-makers in partner countries. The extensive public campaign is part of an endeavour to draw attention to the fact that, in Africa in particular, the population growth is hampering the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

Four partner institutions will carry out the project throughout the next three years: the DSW (Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung) in the role of project leader, the Berlin-Institute for Population and Development (BI), the Austrian Foundation for World Population and International Co-operation (SWI), and the Hungarian BOCS Foundation. The partners will work in close co-operation with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and Partners in Population and Development (PPD), based in Uganda.


The study has been published as a part of the awareness raising
campaign "Africa’s Demographic Challenges". The publication has been
produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The
contents of the publication are the sole responsibility of the partner
organisations involved in the campaign and can under no circumstances
be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.



Articles and Speeches


Reiner Klingholz at "The Great Debate on Development"
13. November 2012, Brussel


Tanja Kiziak at the Demographic Stakeholder Meeting
17. May 2012, Washington DC


Tanja Kiziak, Reiner Klingholz and Manuel Slupina at PRB discuss online: The Berlin-Institut answers questions about the study
13. March 2012

More Information


Reiner Klingholz at the "International Conference on Sub-Saharan
Africa: Transforming Population Dynamics into an Opportunity"
21. October 2011, Berlin

More Information


Tanja Kiziak at Battle of Ideas: The great population debate
12. October 2011, Berlin

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Reiner Klingholz at the ITB Global Future Summit
10. March 2010, Berlin

More Information


Further Articles and Speeches in German



Media Coverage


30. October 2011

Interview with Reiner Klingholz in Global Times: "No celebrations for 7 billionth global citizen"


Further Media Coverage in German

World Food Convention - Digital edition

The live summit with subsequent Q&A will take place on 25 June from 3.00pm CEST (UTC+2)

A contested issue

The rise in international opposition to the right to sexual self-determination

Destination Europe?

The future of global migration

Africa’s Demographic Trailblazers

How falling fertility rates accelerate development