The paper discusses the relationship between two problems, namely: (i) assigning a value to reduction in death probabilities, i.e. defining a « value of life », and (ii) assigning a value to changes in population, i.e. defining guidelines for the ethics and economics of population. While, for Broome, “in one sense, prolonging a person’s life and adding a new person to the world are alternative ways of doing the same things”, this paper argues that the two problems are quite distinct, in the sense that a precise answer to the first provides no guide live at all for second, and conversely. There is no inconsinstency in providing safety according to a high “value of life” while giving population growth a negative value. But there is a methodological link: both problemes have a public choice dimension, and can therefore be approached along parallel methodological lines. With respect to the economics and ethics of population, the paper offers some defense of the Pareto criterion among the living, and comments on the practice and theory of social choise.