How demography shapes development - Lessons from the MDGs for the SDGs


By Michael Herrmann, Ruth Müller, Tanja Kiziak, Reiner Klingholz

In September 2015, the United Nations announced the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) therewith initiating a new global development agenda. The number of hitherto eight development targets, the so-called Millennium Development Goals, has more than doubled to reach 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs cover topics ranging from poverty and sustainable consumption to climate change. For the more developed countries the broadening of targets is a logical step. However, the least developed countries cannot possibly meet all SDGs in question. In view of strong population growth, developing countries will not only find it difficult to catch up but are also in danger of falling back in their development. The study shows how population change affects socio-economic development and what that means for the global development agenda.


Selected Figures

Click here to view the full English version of the study.


This research project and book were made possible through a grant of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), as well as with contributions from the Friends of the Berlin Institute. The views expressed in the book are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the UNFPA.

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

From Land of Famine to Land of Hope

Will Ethiopia Become a Model for an African Upswing?