The aim of this paper is to perform a theoretically-based empirical analysis concerning the impact of demography on economic growth via the accumulation of human capital. Although the direct effects of demographic variables on economic growth have been widely investigated in the economic literature, research on the indirect effects that demography has on growth via its influence on human capital accumulation is relatively sparse. Hence, in this paper, we only focus on the latter effects. We find that human capital accumulation, in particular secondary education, gives a positive contribution to economic growth and that demographic variables, in particular improvements in life expectancy at birth, have a positive impact on the accumulation of secondary and tertiary education. By contrast, our analysis does not reveal any significant effect of the population structure by age (i.e. demographic dependency ratios) on the accumulation of human capital. The important impact of reducing mortality also emerges from the empirical analysis when considering alternative demographic variables such as mortality rates.