The first part of the course is an overview of the population debate over the past 50 years and its intellectual roots. This part includes theories explaining both the influence of population growth on economic, social, and environmental development and vice-versa. Examples are given, showing how the theories have been used to explain the historical development of population and living standards since the Middle Ages up to modern times. The concept of living standard is extended also to include how short-term economic changes influence population behaviour. Divergence in living standards between different socio-economic groups and institutional arrangements for transfers are studied. The second part introduces ways to model the complex interrelationship between population and living standards which are appropriate for empirical testing. The students then make use of their knowledge in theory and econometrics to analyze data for a specific country or region using information available at various data bases.