Coming soon:

  • 06 June 2023: Paula Alves de Almeida - Population that films and filmed population: Gender and racial hierarchies in contemporary Brazilian film production - Details
  • 14 June 2023: Trimarchi, A., Steiber, N., Winter-Ebmer, R., Berghammer, C. -  Partners’ relative resources and the transition to second birth in Austria. - Details
  • 21 June 2023: Marie-Caroline Compans - Who can access medically assisted reproduction and how is legislation related to public opinion in European countries? - Details
  • 28 June 2023: Vanessa di Lego: Title tba - Details tba


Previous Colloquia:

A microsimulation model for population projections in official statistics

10 May 2023

Pauline Pohl, Philip Slepecki and Martin Spielauer
(Statistics Austria, WIFO)


The cohort-component method is the predominant approach for population projections in official statistics. It is computationally simple, does not require a broad range of input data, and is well-established in the literature. However, it cannot account for complex and dynamic demographic processes, model interactions, or produce detailed results concerning individual-level characteristics. Statistics Austria has implemented a microsimulation model to overcome these limitations. To mitigate the effect of this methodological break on the comparability of projection results over time, we start by replicating the cohort-component method results and introducing new model features stepwise. As a first step, we incorporate a model of international migration, which explicitly accounts for the place of birth grouped into detailed country clusters. In addition, emigration risks are modeled by the duration of residence. The model will be gradually refined and it can be extended with additional modules for education, employment, health and other socioeconomic characteristics.

About the presenters:

Pauline Pohl leads the population projections team at Statistics Austria. She previously worked as an applied econometrician at the Ger-man Economic Institute in Cologne and as a junior researcher at the Economica Institute of Economic Research in Vienna. She holds an MSc in Economics from the University of Vienna.

Philip Slepecki is currently working on the microsimulation model for population projections at Statistics Austria as well as on demographic indicators. He has previously worked in the banking sector in credit risk modelling as well as in data science consulting. He holds a Master's degree in Econometrics from Tilburg University.

Martin Spielauer is a senior economist at WIFO, developing dynamic microsimulation models. In two EU-funded projects, he leads the implementation of the comparative microWELT model for welfare transfers in the context of aging. He is a project partner for the Slovenian pension model and supports the microsimulation implementation of population projections at Statistics Austria. He previously consulted for the World Bank and gained international experience at Statistics Canada and the Max Planck Institute. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Vienna.


video on youtube | Presentation

Population Catastrophe: Explosion, Implosion, and Replacement

05 April 2023

David N. Weil
Brown University and National Bureau of Economic Research


Worries about the size and composition of the population have occupied scholars, governments, and popular discourse for more than a century.  In the early 20th century, concern focused on the low fertility of social classes or ethnic groups viewed as having superior attributes.  After World War II, the dominant fear was catastrophic overpopulation in poor countries.  More recently, sub-replacement fertility and population aging have become salient issues in a large number of countries. These worries arise from a common source: the end of the homeostatic demographic regime of high mortality and high fertility that described human population for most of history.  This lecture tells the story of this demographic transformation, including its economic, social, and cultural dimensions.  It is a sprawling story that encompasses technological change, feminism, eugenics, science fiction, nationalism, the rise of the welfare state, and the private decisions of billions of individuals.

About the presenter:

David N. Weil is the James and Merryl Tisch Professor of Economics at Brown University and a research as-sociate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Weil has written widely on various aspects of economic growth and his textbook on the topic has been translated into six languages. He has also written on assorted topics in demographic and health economics including the population aging, Social Security, and the gender wage gap. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1990.

video on youtube | Presentation

Constructing a subnation al database of fertility in low- and middle-income countries to study the impacts of climate change

29 March, 2023

Côme Cheritel
Paris School of Economics


Climate change may directly or indirectly affect reproductive health and fertility. The few existing studies on the impact of climate variability or extreme climatic events on fertility present inconsistent findings with negative climatic conditions leading to an increase in fertility on the one hand, and fertility decline on the other. To date, there are no comprehensive cross-national empirical studies on the impacts of global warming on. To perform such analysis, harmonised data for a large number of countries are required. In particular, data with a temporal and spatial granularity allowing matching of local climatic conditions with the outcome of interest i.e., fertility, are needed. Such data, however, are not yet readily available given a lack of data structure that is suitable (or easily adaptable) to deal with this problem. While the census data can be used to derive fertility statistics, the data are collected over a rather large time interval – often every 10 years – making it impossible to detect the effects of climate change on fertility behavior in a robust manner. Likewise, fertility statistics are mainly available on a national scale, which masks regional heterogeneities that are of relevance to capturing the local climate change impacts. In order to address this issue, we produce a database of age-specific fertility rate at the subnational level on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis. To do so, we use Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) available for ~90 low- and middle-income countries. Since the DHS provide individual records of births, we are able to exploit this information to estimate sub-national level fertility statistics over a long period of time with a high temporal frequency. In addition, the compilation of several DHS surveys for a particular country help reduce uncertainties in the estimation of fertility statistics.


About the presenter: Côme Cheritel is a PhD student in Economics at Paris School of Economics under the supervision of Katheline Schubert and Raya Muttarak. He is also a visiting researcher at IIASA in the Migration and Sustainable Development research group of the Population and Just Societies department. With an academic background in engineering, physics and economics, Côme is interested in the links between climate change, population dynamics and the economy. Thus, he studies the links between uncertainty and optimal decarbonisation strategies, the impact of population structure and ageing on future greenhouse gas emissions, and finally the impact of global warming on fertility in developing countries.


Environmentally induced migration in the coastal regions of Bangladesh: Existing scenario and post-Covid implications on livelihood and food security

27 February, 2023

Mehdi Azam,
Macquarie Business School


This study analyses various factors that have an impact on environmental and socio-economic changes and thereby people’s displacement and migration. Data from empirical research with local people from 2011 and follow-up focus group discussions and interviews in 2022 were used. The study identifies that shifting traditional land use patterns from rice farming to shrimp cultivation has generated environmental and socioeconomic transformation. A significant decrease in household resilience has shifted vulnerable people away from their regional contexts, ranging from 1 to 28 weeks. The situation has further worsened because of the Covid-19-induced lockdown and restrictions since seasonal migrants had to return home. So far, governance of migration has not been effectively mainstreamed in the current policy regimes, which presents a concern. The study recommends that transformation strategies may help to diversify sources of income and approve the financial situation of many local dwellers.


About the presenter:Mehdi’s research focuses on environmental migration, climate change adaptation and governance, land use change, and climate movement strategies in Bangladesh and Australia. He has been involved in several collaborative research projects and is currently part of a collaborative project with the University of Education Freiburg, Germany. He has published research papers as book chapters and referred journals and presented papers at international conferences. Mehdi is currently working at Macquarie University, Australia and is a Stream Member of the Environmental Humanities Research Group

video on youtube  | Presentation

Housing Expenditures and Fertility in the United Kingdom

23 February, 2023

Brian Buh,
Vienna Institute of Demography, Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital 


Homemaking is an important precursor to children. However, housing prices in the United Kingdom have skyrocketed, leading to more young families foregoing homeownership and staying in private rent. Expensive housing undercuts the ability to obtain affordable, adequate, and stable housing, needed to have (another) child. On the other hand, homemaking and homeownership is an investment in the future. Couples preparing for children may view their housing needs very differently than those without fertility desires. In this study, I examine the relationship between household-level housing expenditure and the likelihood of first, second, and third birth. I find evidence that families invest in housing to have children. However, this is mitigated by other factors like women’s relationship with the labour market and overcrowding. The association appears to be parity specific, with negative relationship appearing between higher housing expenditure and second and third birth. Families being priced out of the local market, unable to find adequate housing, may delay additional children or ultimately decrease family size.


About the presenter:

Brian Buh is a research assistant on the BIRTHLIFE project at the Vienna Institute of Demography. He is a doctoral student in demography at the University of Vienna. He is interested in the competing and complementary life course, specifically around issues of family formation, employment, housing, income, and meso-level factors.

video on youtube  

Temperature and Seasonality Related Infectious Disease Mortality Among Infants. A Retrospective Time-Series Study of Sweden, 1868-1892

14 February, 2023

Johan Junkka and Maria Hiltunen, Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research, Umeå University 


Climate conditions, such as ambient temperature, are crucial to infants’ vulnerability to infectious diseases. However, little is known about how climate conditions affect infectious disease

mortality among infants in high mortality settings. The aim was to investigate the association between ambient temperature, seasonality and cause-specific infant mortality. We applied a retrospective study design using parish register data from Sweden covering the period 1868-1892 in combination with daily temperature data. Mortality due to water- and foodborne diseases, airborne infectious diseases, and other causes were modelled as a function of temperature exposure in the previous 14 days using distributed lagged non-linear models. We found that airborne infectious disease mortality was not related to cold temperatures while water- and foodborne infections were associated with high temperatures. The increased vulnerability to infectious diseases of infants at high temperatures is a significant future risk, given the expected global warming in the coming decades.


About the presenter:

Johan Junkka is an assistant professor in historical demography at the Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research, Umeå university, Sweden. Junkka’s research covers a wide range of demographic issues regarding fertility, social networks, mortality, disability and climate conditions. He uses a combination of longitudinal historical population records and modern register data to study the impact of disability on different aspects of life-course, or how climate conditions such as temperature affects health inequalities over the past centuries.

video on youtube   |  poster

Intersecting Inequities in Energy Consumption, Decent Living Standards, and Risk of Climate Change Exposure in Ghana, India, and Brazil

7 February, 2023

Setu Pelz, Shonali Pachauri & Caroline Zimm: Intersecting Inequities in Energy Consumption, Decent Living Standards, and Risk of Climate Change Exposure in Ghana, India, and Brazil


Literature linking residential energy consumption, human development and climate change risk is growing but is largely concentrated at the aggregate level. We combine consumer expenditure microdata for two time periods from Brazil (2002/2017), Ghana (2005/2017) and India (2004/2011) with a spatial climate exposure

dataset (SSP2, 1.5dC, 2030) to identify intersecting inequities across the income distribution and across space. We first describe the dual challenge of energy access and affordability among poorer households and extend this analysis to include private mobility, identifying dramatic and consistent shifts towards private mobility fossil fuel consumption among the upper deciles. Second, we operationalize the decent living standards, a multi-dimensional measure of human wellbeing, across the income deciles. This highlights the strength of this framework in identifying deprivations among poorer households using standard publicly available microdata. Thirdly, we link achievement of decent living standards with climate risk, identifying both spatially and by income level an acutely vulnerable population requiring climate adaptation policy support.

About the presenter:

Setu Pelz joined IIASA in 2022 as a research scholar in the Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) Program. He works on the analysis and modeling of energy poverty, access, demand, and transitions, with a particular focus on regions of the Global South and vulnerable communities globally. Prior to joining IIASA, Pelz pursued his PhD with the

Department of Energy and Environmental Management at Europa Universitat Flensburg, Germany. His research interests include energy access, just transitions, and sustainable development.

video on youtube   |  poster


The Place of Demography in Global Development Discourse in the 21st Century

21 November, 2022

Alex Ezeh: The Place of Demography in Global Development Discourse in the 21st Century


Throughout much of the 2nd half of the 20th Century, demographic concerns were at the core of most discourses on global development. It formed a critical component of the priorities of multilateral and bilateral agencies as well as private foundations. The focus was centered around rapid population growth in poorer countries and support for family planning programs accounted for at least three-quarters of the total support for population-related  activities. Demographic tools and methods were applied to understand the complex relationships between population change and development outcomes. By the end of the 20th Century, however, the relevance of demography to global development had virtually disappeared. Yet, today, population change ranks alongside climate crisis and growing inequality as existential threats to our current civilization. In this lecture, I offer some thoughts on what happened to demography and why it remains key to improvements in human wellbeing in both rich and poor countries.

About the presenter:

Dr. Ezeh is Dornsife Professor of Global Health at the Dornsife School of Public Health, Drexel University. His work focuses on urban health, population change, and models to strengthen knowledge-based institutions. Previously, he served as the founding Executive Director of the African Population and Health Research Center and he initiated and directed the Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa. He serves on numerous international and non-profit boards, including the UN High-Level Advisory Board for Economic and Social Affairs, and currently co-chairs a new Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing.

video on youtube   Presentation  

Future Directions for (Cross-disciplinary)Collaborations in Demography

18 Oktober, 2022

Annette Baudisch: Future Directions for (Cross-disciplinary) Collaborations in Demography


The purpose of this colloquium is twofold. First, to communicate new directions of research at the Danish Center for Population Research in Odense to explore potential areas of common interest with researchers at WIC. These include, among others, research on fertility, regional demography, and the interplay between demography and climate change. And second, to present recent results on mortality patterns and the rate of aging in humans, primates, and other species to discuss if and how existing theories and modeling within evolutionary demography, optimization approaches across disciplines and other approaches may help explain emerging regularities and apparent constraints on the rate of aging.

About the presenter:

Professor Annette Baudisch is Director of Research at the Danish Centre for Demographic Research within the Interdisciplinary Centre on Population Dynamics | CPop at
the University of Southern Denmark, Odense. Her research advances concepts, theories and methods to study age-patterns of mortality and fertility. Changing the question of “why we age” to “why we age, but some species do not”, and framing the pace-shape concepts of aging are her award-winning contributions to science. She recently acquired an ERC consolidator grant based on her recently developed Born once – Die once approach.

Covid-19, the Russo-Ukrainian War, the Global Sustainable Development Project, and Post-Twin Crises Demography

27 September, 2022

Landis MacKellar: Covid-19, the Russo-Ukrainian War, the Global Sustainable Development Project, and Post-Twin Crises Demography


In this essay, the author submits that the global sustainable development project as currently conceived is foundering and that the twin crises of Covid-19 and the Russo-Ukrainian War have driven a stake through its heart. The old battle yells of equality, equity, and No One Left Behind will be insucient to revive it. Yet, another global sustainable development project must emerge. What can we learn from the currently failing one? What lessons are we learning, and how can these inform post-2030 sustainable development?

About the presenter:

Landis MacKellar is an economist and lawyer whose research and writing have spanned demography, the economics of the social sector, and natural resource and environmental economics including climate change. From 2013–2021, he was editor of Population and Development Review. Mr. MacKellar has long been associated, formally or informally, with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA, in Vienna.

Ukrainian Refugees in Vienna: Socio-Demographic Characteristics and Return Intentions

21 September, 2022

Judith Kohlenberger, Isabella Buber-Ennser, and Olena Tarasiuk: Ukrainian Refugees in Vienna: Socio-Demographic Characteristics and Return Intentions


As of July 2022, almost six million Ukrainians have ed the ongoing war to European host countries. Neighbouring countries like Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary, but also Western European countries, most notably Germany and Austria, have accepted thousands of refugees and are providing shelter. Two large surveys were conducted simultaneously between April and June in Vienna and Kraków to nd out about sociodemographic characteristics, return intentions, attitudes and values. In the presentation we focus in Ukrainians in Vienna and discuss dierences and similarities with Ukrainians surveyed in Kraków. Results suggest a highly selective, (upper) urban Ukrainian middle-class in Austria and, to a lesser degree, in Poland, who had resources to travel, work, and study abroad before the war. The farther Ukrainian refugees moved from their home country, the higher their educational attainment, which correlates with their socio-economic background and impacts return intentions.

About the presenter:

Judith Kohlenberger is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Social Policy, Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU). Isabella Buber-Ennser is leader of the research group "Demography of Austria (DoA)" at the Vienna Institute of Demography (VID). Olena Tarasiuk is a research scholar at IIASA in the Population and Just Societies Program.

Video on youtube

Parental Leave and Day-care Policy, Take-up Consequences and Changing Normative Beliefs: Evidence from Two Survey Experiments

6 September, 2022

Marie-Fleur Philipp: Parental Leave and Day-care Policy, Take-up Consequences and Changing Normative Beliefs: Evidence from Two Survey Experiments


Family policies convey normative assumptions about what is considered desirable in paid work and family care. This study conceptualises and investigates how priming with brief media report-like information on existing parental leave and day care policy entitlements and the economic consequences of their uptake may change personal normative beliefs about parental work-care arrangements. The data stem from two survey experiments implemented in the German GESIS Panel and the German Family Panel (pairfam). Priming respondents with information on parental leave and day-care policies as well as the consequences of take-up changes normative beliefs towards stronger egalitarianism regarding couples’ division of labour. However, the priming effects are strongly dependent on relative earnings constellations in the case of the division of parental leave. Further, effects vary by respondents’ gen-der and parenthood status.

About the presenter:

Marie-Fleur Philipp is a doctoral student in sociology at the University of Tübingen. She is interested in gender relations and inequalities within the family, and in the interplay between work-family policies and social norms. She also works on the

role of family structure in gender socialization and the development of gender ideologies.

Projections of Skills-Adjusted Human Capital and the Effect of COVID-19 on Adult Skills

22 June, 2022

Caner Özdemir, Zonguldak Bülent Ecevit University, Turkey


Together with colleagues at the Human Capital Data Lab, we extend Skills-in-Literacy Adjusted Mean Years of Schooling (SLAMYS), a recently released human capital indicator. Estimates of SLAMYS between 1970 and 2015 have shown that being in school does not necessarily mean learning. Moreover, the gap between years of schooling and SLAMYS varies considerably between countries. Using both international student assessment data and international adult skills data, we extend SLAMYS until 2050 for 45 countries, applying projections for the working-age population in 5-year-time-periods from 2015 to 2050. Our projections indicate a further widening global gap in learning and in adult skills. We also incorporate the learning loss during the school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Projections indicate that COVID-related skill loss may eliminate progress gained in the last 20-30 years. Our projections call for urgent action to mitigate learning losses due to school closures during the pandemic.

About the presenter:

Caner Özdemir is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Labor Economics and Industrial Relations at Zonguldak Bülent Ecevit University, Turkey. He had his BSc in Statistics and MSc in Social Policy from Middle East Technical University, Turkey where he also got his PhD in Sociology. He teaches and publishes on topics including sociology of education, social inequalities, and social mobility. He is a participating member of ISA Research Committee on Social Stratification and ESA Research Network on Sociology of Education.

Video on Youtube

Macroeconomic Consequences of the Substituability between Natives and Immigrants in the Labor Market

1 June 2022

Hippolyte d'Albis, Paris School of Economics


Previous empirical studies have concluded that natives are not infinitely substitutable to immigrants in the labor market. In this article, we first explore the macroeconomic consequences of this fact with a neoclassical growth model. We show that the employment rate increases with the immigration rate if and only if the share of immigrants in the population is below a threshold. This condition is shown to be key for the dynamic analysis of both capital and income per capita. Most notably, steady-state income per capita increases with the immigration rate if and only if the share of immigrants is below the aforementioned threshold. Using a panel of OECD countries for 1985-2018, we then provide an empirical assessment of the impact of migration on employment rate, which suggests that the share of immigrants in the population is actually below the theoretical theshold

About the presenter:

Hippolyte d’Albis is a senior researcher at CNRS, specialized in economic demography. He is also professor at the Paris School of Economics, director of the École HED –a graduate school of demography–, president of the Cercle des économistes, director of the French team of the National Transfer Accounts network, co-director of the French Regional Database, associate editor of the Journal of Demographic Economics and the Journal of the Economics of Ageing and member of the editorial advisory board of the Public Finance Review.

An Epidemic of Uncertainty

31 May 2022

Jenny Trinitapoli, University of Chicago


After a four-decades-long battle against HIV, the standard global-health metrics have started to point to good news: new infections are down, prevalence has stabilized, life-saving antiretroviral drugs are widely available, mother-to-child transmission is lower than ever, and AIDS-related mortality has declined. But in the wake of pandemic AIDS, an epidemic of uncertainty persists. In Malawi, adult prevalence of HIV has been steady at roughly 14% since 2000; yet at any given point in time, half the young-adult population doesn’t know their HIV status. I argue that AIDS-related uncertainty is measurable, pervasive, and impervious to biomedical solutions. The consequences of uncertainty are pertinent to multiple domains of life including relationship stability, fertility, health, and well-being. Even as HIV is transformed from a progressive, fatal infection to a chronic and manageable condition, the accompanying epidemic of uncertainty remains central to understanding social life in this part of the world.

About the presenter:

Jenny Trinitapoli is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago, where she also directs the Center for International Social Science Research. Her training is in two areas: social demography & the sociology of religion. Bridging these two fields, her work features the demographer’s characteristic concern with data quality and denominators and an insistence on connecting demographic processes to questions of meaning.

Family Goals and Behavior in an International Comparative Analysis

16 May 2022

Alicia Adsera, Princeton University


We aim to understand how family goals/values impact family behavior (especially union formation and fertility). We designed a survey to collect information on family goals that includes novel vignettes of family profiles that individuals are asked to evaluate in terms of their "success" and desirability. Family profiles vary by marital status, children, family investments and interactions, educational aspirations and intra-household specialization. We use online panels in Italy, Korea, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Japan, China and the US. Many of these countries have some of the lowest fertility rates in the world, but very different institutional settings, and family formation processes (including nonmarital unions and childbearing). A better understanding of family goals should allow us to theoretically integrate the ways in which mechanisms governing micro-level intimate family contexts scale up to (partially) explain macro-level trends in family patterns.


About the presenter:

Alicia Adserà is a Senior Research Scholar and Lecturer in Economics at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and director of graduate studies at the Office of Population Research  (Princeton University). Her research interests are economic demography, development and political economy. She works on the interplay between economics and fertility as well as on migration. She holds a PhD in Economics from Boston University. Previously, she was a tenured Associate Professor (University of Illinois at Chicago) and Research Affiliate at the Population Research Center (University of Chicago).

Video on Youtube

The Mechanism Between Mortality, Population Growth and Ageing of the Population in the European Lower and Upper Middle Income Countries

11 May 2022

Goran Miladinov


This paper analyses the effect of mortality rates under-five and adult mortality) and population growth on the population ageing in a pooled sample of nine LUMIs European countries. The analysis is implemented in terms of Pooled least squares with cross-section fixed effects methodology.  The novelty used within this research is White two-way cluster standard errors & covariance. This study is based on a database from the World Bank and UN covering the period 1995–2019. Results are consistent with the notion that the increasing ageing process within these countries may be a consequence of the negative impact of population growth and from the influence of adult mortality. The research results are making available quantitative analysis and indights and therefore confirm the presence of solid ties of the mechanism between mortality, population growth and population ageing across these European LUMIs. There was a clear point that mortality acceleration will depend primarily on the level of population growth.


About the presenter:

Goran Miladinov has Ph.D. in demography from Faculty of Economics at “Ss. Cyril and Methodius” University in Skopje, Macedonia. Currently, he is working independently as a researcher-demographer. His main research interests include demography, population economics, applied econometrics and statistics for business and economics, and development economics. He also has previous teaching experience in statistics, econometrics and some other management courses as well as job experience in R&D statistics at the State Statistics Offi ce in Skopje. Besides, Goran Miladinov has many other research contributions.

On the Momentum of Pseudo-Stable Populations

09 May 2022

Roland Rau, Max-Planck-Institute for Demographic Research


Stable population theory remains the standard model for the analytical study of population dynamics. It assumes a closed female population with time-invariant but age-specific fertility and mortality. We begin with a quick refresher about the transient and long-term effects of these assumptions (e.g., the intrinsic rate of growth and the age structure) as well as the classic case of population momentum. Pseudo-stable populations relax the strict fertility assumption: It allows fertility to decline at a constant rate. We show analytically and via simulations how births, population size, population momentum and other characteristics develop in this scenario with varying fertility transition speeds.


About the presenter:

Roland Rau is Professor of Demography at the University of Rostock and Senior Research Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research. His main research interests are at the intersection of demography, epidemiology and statistics. He fell in love with demography about 25 years ago when he attended his first demography course which focused on population dynamics and stable population theory. The love for mathematical demography is still there but Roland devotes too little time on it. Roland hopes that his current collaboration with Gustav Feichtinger will change this for the better.

Video on Youtube

Russian Demographic Datasheet 2022: Regional Diversity Today and in the Future

09 February 2022

Sergei Scherbov, IIASA
Sergey Shulgin, RANEPA


The work is performed in a framework of IIASA-RANEPA project: “Short and long term consequences of COVID-19 on population dynamics in Russia and its regions” funded by IIASA and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR). Conventional and probabilistic projections for Russia and it regions constitute the main results of the project. Russian Demographic datasheet 2022 is being developed based on those projections. We are developing probabilistic projections for 85 administrative regions of Russia considering urban and rural populations. Projections are based on long-term scenarios for fertility, mortality, and migration until 2050 developed by participants of the project. Regional demographic diversity in Russia is very high and especially in longevity. Those differences have a strong effect on population distribution by age and sex. The datasheet will also include regional estimates of excess mortality in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic where a high level of diversity is also observed.

About the presenter:

Sergei Scherbov is Principal Research Scholar and Project Leader at IIASA’s Population and Just Societies Program.
Sergey Shulgin is vice-director at International Research Laboratory for Demography and Human Capital at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) at Moscow (Russia).

Assessing Population Health: A Closer Look at the Healthy Life Years indicator

19 January 2022

Markus Sauerberg
Federal Institute for Population Research, Wiesbaden, Germany


During my time at the VID, I explored the measurement of population health from a methodological point of viewwith a particular focus on the Healthy Life Years (HLY) indicator. HLY extends classic period life expectancy (LE) by taking into account the health dimension in survivorship. However, HLY is less reliable as compared to LE. For instance, HLY values are showing more uctuations over time
and countries with high LE levels do not necessarily rank also high in terms of HLY. Accordingly, it is worthwhile to take a closer look at the HLY indicator. I examined HLY with respect to its underlying
health and mortality components. Additionally, I tested the impact of population’s educational composition on HLY. While all factors can play a role in specic situations, the health information appears as being the most important driver for the observed HLY estimates.

About the presenter:

Markus studied social sciences and demography at the University of Rostock. After participating in the European Doctoral School of Demography in Rome, he moved to Vienna and joinedMarc Luy’s research group "Health & Longevity" at the VID. Within his ERC project on the estimation sensitivity of the HLY indicator, he wrote his PhD thesis and successfully nished it in the beginning
of 2021. Since January 2022, he is living in Wiesbaden to work on Pavel Grigoriev’s ERC project on regional disparities in cause-specic mortality in Europe hosted at the Federal Institute for Population Research in Germany.


Video on Youtube



Gendered Experiences of Widowhood and Depression Across Europe: The Role of Loneliness and Financial Resources from a Longitudinal Perspective

23 November 2021

Alina Schmitz
TU Dortmund


Numerous studies document the detrimental consequences of widowhood on mental health. Yet widowhood is – especially for women – a central experience of ageing so that it has been questioned whether women adapt to widowhood more easily. Previous research has provided mixed answers, reecting both methodological and substantive issues, such as differences in statistical modeling and study samples. Furthermore, prior research largely ignores the societal context, although the social consequences of widowhood may vary according to macrosocial conditions. Thus, the mental health consequences of widowhood may both be gendered and context-specic. Based on longitudinal data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), this study analyses the  gendered experiences of widowhood and depressive symptoms in four European regions. A special focus lies on the contribution of loneliness and reduced nancial resources to the detrimental effect of widowhood on mental health.

About the presenter:

Alina Schmitz is a post doctoral researcher working at Technische Universität Dortmund, Chair for Social Structure and Sociology of Ageing Societies. Her research focuses on social inequalities in (mental) health and wellbeing within a cross-country comparative perspective. She is interested in the mechanisms through which gender and socioeconomic status affect health and wellbeing across the life course, as well as in the role of contextual factors for healthy ageing. The presented work is part of her dissertation on gender inequalities in old age depression.


From the Stork to Fertility Apps

19 July 2021

Ross Barker
Austrian Academy of Sciences


The market for smartphone apps tracking fertility has grown in recent years. These apps brand themselves as empowering their users to reach their reproductive goals, claiming to help achieve a pregnancy more easily than through conventional medical channels. This paper offers the first comprehensive quantification of fertility tracking app users. Using data collected from Google Play Store and Apple App Store, we calculate the most downloaded apps, and the global distribution of use. We use a log-log model fitted on the Google Play Store data to predict the Apple App Store number of installations. Our findings show that 74% of downloads are for just three of 28 apps. The majority of the reviews are left by users in North America, Northern Europe, and Australia; but it is noteworthy that downloads are also widespread in the Global South. Ongoing work aims to investigate the most discussed topics in the reviews.

About the presenter:

Ross Barker is a pre-doctoral research assistant in the Vienna Institute of Demography, jointly part of the Demography of Austria research group and the Family and Fertility research group, joining the BIRTH-LIFE project in September 2020. His work focuses on the intention to have a child, using survey data and web-based data. He intends him-self to find new sources of data to explore how the digital revolution is affecting the intention to have a child, and how increased use of mobile phone apps affects the ability to realise those intentions.

Video on Youtube


Covid-19, Social-Distancing and Lock-Downs in a simple Ramsey Economy: The role of networks

15 July 2021

Torben Klarl
University of Bremen


We develop a microfounded network-based SIS model where network connections vary between members. This model is embedded into a standard Ramsey Economy. We study the optimal lockdown policy for a planner who wants to control fatalities of the Covid-19 epidemic while minimizing consumption costs of the lock-down. We show that the optimal lock-down policy depends not only on the fraction of susceptible and infected persons but, importantly, on the average degree node of the network, which is a measure of social distancing. Not accounting for this would lead to biased policy recommendations and to welfare losses. In an extension, we expand our a setting where the agents do not fully take into account the effects of social distancing due to rational inattention motives.

About the presenter:

Torben Klarl currently works at the Department of Business and Eco-nomics at the University of Bre-men. He is also affliated with the BIGSSS (University of Bremen) and O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, Bloomington. Torben’s research focus is on various topics in applied macroeconomics such as sustainability, health, and innovation. More information can be found here.

Video on Youtube


MicroWELT – Microsimulation of Disaggregated National Transfer Accounts for the Comparative Study of Welfare State Regimes

18 May 2021

Martin Spielauer
Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO)


This colloquium introduces MicroWELT, a microsimulation platform developed alongside the Horizon 2020 WELTRANSIM (Welfare Transfer Simulation) project. MicroWELT projects the interactions between welfare state regimes, welfare transfers and population ageing, accounting for educational change, life expectancy differentials and changing family patterns. Beyond the WELTRASNIM project, microWELT provides a versatile platform already used in various projects related to health, employment and care. MicroWELT integrates detailed socio-demographic projections with disaggregated National Transfer Accounts (NTAs). We study how disaggregating NTAs by family type and education affects NTA indicators and generational accounts. Our results show that indicators based on disaggregated data can give a very distinct picture of the economic effects of population ageing.

About the presenter:

Martin Spielauer is Senior Economist at the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO). He has 20 years of experience developing dynamic microsimulation models for the study of socio-demographic change, employment, health, social insurance, pensions and care in various countries. He is the lead developer of the microWELT model presented in this colloquium. As consultant of The World Bank, he leads the development of Dynamis-Pop, a portable model for population, education and health applications in developing countries.

Video on Youtube


Baby bust in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic? First results from the new STFF data series

21 April 2021

Tomáš Sobotka & Kryštof Zeman
Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna)


Past evidence on fertility responses to external shocks, including economic recessions and the out-breaks of infectious diseases, show that people of-ten put their childbearing plans on hold in uncertaintimes. We study the most recent data on monthly birth trends to analyse the initial fertility responses to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ourresearch, based on new Short-Term Fertility Fluctu-ations (STFF) data series, embedded in the HumanFertility Database, shows the initial signs of the ex-pected “birth recession”. Monthly number of births in many countries have fallen sharply since October2020, often bringing about a clear reversal of theprevious trend. Across 17 countries with lower uc-tuations in births, births fell on average by 5.1% in November 2020, 6.5% in December 2020 and 8.9% in January 2021, compared with the same monthof the previous year. Spain sustained the sharpest drop in the number of births among the analysed countries, with the number of births plummeting by 20% in December 2020 and January 2021. Thecombined effect of rising mortality and falling birthrates is disrupting the balance of births and deaths in many countries, pushing natural population in-crease to record low levels.

About the presenters:

Tomáš Sobotkaleads the researchgroup Fertility and Family at theVienna Institute of Demography (OeAW). He also serves as an external lecturer at the Charles University in Prague and since 2021 as Editor of the Vienna Yearbook of Population Research. Kryštof Zeman is a research scientist with main focus on the Human Fertility Database project at the Department of Demography (Universityof Vienna). The presented work was created incollaboration with Aiva Jasilioniene, Ainhoa Alustiza Galarza, DmitriJdanov and László Németh from the Max Planck Institute for Demo-graphic Research (MPIDR).

Presentation Part I (Zeman)

Presentation Part II (Sobotka)

Born Once, Die Once: Lifetable Relationships for Fertility

9 March 2021

Annette Baudisch & Jesús-Adrián Alvarez
Interdisciplinary Centre on Population Dynamics


Everyone dies, once. This basic truth empowers formal mortality research. Similarly, everyone is born, once. This truth has not been fully exploited to benefit formal fertility research. Baudisch and Stott (2019) recently advanced the idea of an offspring population - yet unborn - awaiting the event of birth, introducing a novel survivorship concept for birth.
Formalizing the idea of ’birth survival’, here we define the underlying random variable and derive the central ’triplet’ of survival analysis functions - the hazard, density, and survival. We derive a straightforward framework to capture age-specific patterns of birth, analogous to classical life table functions. Based on age-specific birth counts, we construct a ’birth table’ and meaningful summary measures such as ’birth expectancy’ and associated measures of spread.
We advance a new framework to compare birth schedules across populations and to reveal macrolevel patterns and constraints. Our approach enables method transfer from mortality to fertility research, which can create an integrated framework to study birth and death for the same focal individual. Thereby, insights into the intertwined relationships between birth and death become possible. This, we envision, will open an entirely unexplored line of research.

About the presenter:

Professor Annette Baudisch is Vice Director at the Danish Centre for Demo-graphic Research | CDem within the Interdisciplinary Centre on Population Dynamics | CPop. As mathematician and demographer by training, her research advances concepts, theories and methods to study age-patterns of mortality and fertility. Changing the question of “why we age” to “why we age, but other species do not”, and creating the pace-shape framework of aging are her award-winning contributions to science.