World Population (POP): Scientific Achievements 2012

IIASA’s World Population Program (POP) addresses the human core of global change, including the changing number of people on the planet and their most important attributes and characteristics 

POP's studies of the changing number of human beings  focuses on the changing composition of the population by age, gender, level of education, place of residence, and other important human characteristics. POP tries to comprehensively assess the social, economic, and environmental drivers of such changes as well as their implications for long-term sustainable development.

The POP Program has continued its strong strategic alliance with the Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), coming together to form the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital in 2011. The Wittgenstein Centre emphasizes modeling of the dynamics of human capital formation, including reconstruction of historical data and projections for the coming decades for most of the world’s countries.

In alignment with IIASA’s strategic plan in 2012 POP has enhanced its scientific collaboration across programs, has organized its efforts across the three dimensions of the new Strategic Areas, and disseminated IIASA’s scientific output to policymakers and civil society. The World Population Program is active in all three areas, and increasingly so. POP’s population estimates and projections for the countries of the world have long been used by other IIASA programs in their modeling and projections, most significantly in the context of developing the IIASA input to the new SSPs (Shared Socioeconomic Pathways) for the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as will be described below. 

Preparing population scenarios by age, sex, and level of education for all countries as part of the global SSP effort

In close collaboration with IIASA’s Energy program, POP developed population projections for a broadly based international effort to create a new generation of standard scenarios for the global modeling communities on Integrated Assessment and Vulnerability, Risk, and Adaptation. More

Progress on Oxford University Press book on World Population and Human Capital in the 21st Century

The above mentioned major new expert-argument-based population projections by age, sex, and level of education are being documented and justified in a forthcoming volume to be published by Oxford University Press (OUP).  More

The importance of education in reducing vulnerability to natural disasters and future climate change

Empirical data and case studies from new studies conducted in the context of the European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant “Forecasting Societies’ Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change” show from that better education can help people survive and recover after natural disasters such as floods, landslides, storms, and fires.  More

European and Asian demographic data sheets

POP has a tradition of producing every 2-4 years wall charts presenting summary information about recent demographic trends, current statistics, and projections in regular intervals since 2006.  More

Age and Cohort Change (ACC)

Age and Cohort Change research looks at the implications of an aging population for numerous aspects of society, including beliefs and values, work and retirement, and fertility More

Policy Impact in 2012

In anticipation of the Rio+20 Summit, Pop assembled leading demographers tp prepare the Laxenburg Declaration, "Demography's Role in Sustainable Development," which was widely disseminated in 2012  More

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Last edited: 28 October 2013


Wolfgang Lutz

Acting Research Group Leader and Principal Research Scholar Social Cohesion, Health, and Wellbeing Research Group - Population and Just Societies Program

Principal Research Scholar and Senior Program Advisor Population and Just Societies Program

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International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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