The POPJUS Program continues and builds upon research activities previously undertaken in the IIASA World Population and Risk and Resilience programs. Insights into current and future population sizes, structures, and distributions are fundamental to understanding human impacts on ecosystems and simultaneously, the impact of environmental changes on human wellbeing differentiated by sub-populations.

The program’s research agenda embraces the key priority in the IIASA strategic plan by identifying sustainable development challenges and exploring people-centric systems solutions for sustainable, resilient, just and equitable societies. The program focuses on strengthening the human-centered and population-based approach, taking into consideration equity and the just distribution of opportunities, outcomes, and processes. In doing so, the program builds on existing strengths and expertise in population and human capital modeling as well as expertise in understanding, managing, and equitably governing systemic and existential risks associated with global change. The program will continue to invest in advancing its methods, approaches, and data to deliver results that can be incorporated into system analytical models, inclusive policy processes, and ultimately into equitable and effective policy pathways and transformations. 

POPJUS Research Groups


Equity and Justice (EQU)

The EQU Group focuses on the human dimension of selected globally relevant policy challenges, with the aim of delineating and advancing their analysis, management, and governance with special attention paid to the design and application of equity and justice frameworks, both within the group and across IIASA.


Migration and Sustainable Development (MIG)

MIG focuses on applying advanced data collection and estimation methods to quantify and better understand the trends, patterns, drivers, and consequences of different types of migration considering its interactions with the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.


Multidimensional Demographic Modeling (MDM)

Through its research, the MDM Group aims to advance demographic modeling methods to assess and forecast population dynamics with a focus on demographic and spatial heterogeneity under different socioeconomic scenarios at the global, national, and sub-national level.


Social Cohesion, Health, and Wellbeing (SHAW)

The SHAW Group’s research activities directly and comprehensively addresses the measurement of human wellbeing in its multiple dimensions with a special focus on health as a key component and social cohesion as a key determinant of wellbeing.

Wittgenstein Centre

POPJUS is one of the three pillars of The Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital, a collaboration among the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and the University of Vienna.

Read POPNET Newsletter          WIC Report of Activities 2018–2022

Models, tools, datasets

stakeholder groups

Social and Policy Simulations

World population

Wittgenstein Centre Human Capital Data Explorer (WCDE)

Mumbai, India, Passengers

Sub-national Population and Human Capital Projections

EU flags

Demographic scenarios for the EU



Systems approach to EU wildfire risk management project (FIRELOGUE)

Hand die durch die Wand bricht

Future Migration Scenarios for Europe (FUME)

Senior couple with nordic walking poles hiking in snow-covered winter nature.

The Demography of Sustainable Human Wellbeing (EmpoweredLifeYears)

Human Tracks

Quantifying Migration Scenarios for Better Policy (QuantMig)


Arda Aktas profile picture

Arda Aktas

Guest Research Scholar (SHAW)

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Ann-Christine Link

Research Assistant (MIG)

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Gladys Shamirian

Administrative Assistant for Research Program (POPJUS)

Anna Scolobig profile picture

Anna Scolobig

Guest Senior Research Scholar (EQU)


Earth globe against planet map

31 May 2023

Quantifying Earth System Boundaries for a just world on a safe planet

IIASA researchers contributed to a new study in Nature, that for the first time presents quantifiable numbers and a solid scientific foundation to assess the state of our planetary health, not only regarding Earth System stability and resilience, but also in terms of human wellbeing and justice.
Team meeting

04 May 2023

Researchers from Norwegian Geotechnical Institute visit IIASA

Researchers from the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) visited IIASA on 24 April to finalize a five-year collaboration on nature-based solutions for meeting climate and biodiversity targets, and to plan a proposal to continue their collaboration.


Illustration of Vienna Skyline with Color Buildings, Blue Sky and Reflections.

16 May 2023

Would Vienna still be Vienna without migrants?

What would Vienna look like without migrants, and what kind of socioeconomic implications would such a situation have? IIASA researchers Anne Goujon and Thomas Schinko delved into these questions in response to a recent public debate on the topic.

Jigsaw puzzle collaboration/co-creation concept

08 May 2023

Stakeholder engagement, co-production, and transdisciplinary research

Co-production is a term that has been cropping up more and more in discussions about public involvement and is fast becoming an integral feature of many research processes and proposals. Susanne Hanger-Kopp explains why not every project can or should include elements of co-production and how to make the most of such processes when they are used.

AI in China

16 March 2023

Artificial intelligence, fairness, and digital regulation: can the West learn from China?

Western accounts of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in China often paint a dystopian picture of an Orwellian surveillance state. But what really makes industry practitioners in the world's second-largest digital economy tick? 2022 IIASA Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP) participant Junhua Zhu, wants to lift the veil, taking a deep dive into the Chinese AI ecosystem.