Scientific achievements in 2013

In 2013 scientists of the World Population Program (POP) addressed different aspects of human capital to better understand population dynamics, improve the research base, and find policy solutions for sustainable development.

Counting machine © joel-t | iStock

Counting machine

The work on the Oxford University Press book, World Population and Human Capital in the 21st Centurywas completed. A relational database containing associated population data and projections will be made available to all interested researchers and decision makers at the beginning of 2014.

Systematic work on redefining population aging to account for its dynamic nature culminated in the introduction of the Characteristics Approach, a new measurement that allows “transitional trajectories” to the category “old” to be developed.

Substantial progress was made in understanding the impact of education on disaster and on climate change vulnerability and adaptability. Solid evidence on these topics obtained through POP research activities in 2013 was published in a special issue of the journal, Ecology and Society

The Age and Cohort Change (ACC) research group contributed to building a global database on religious denominations around the world. Different aspects of the interplay between age and cognition also continued to be investigated.


Age and Cohort Change

Age and Cohort Change (ACC) worked in two major areas in 2013: beliefs and skills. The former focused on projections of beliefs and values over the life course, the latter on cognition and skills, especially with respect to aging. More

Education and environmental vulnerability

As part of a larger project, Forecasting Societies’ Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change, a Special Feature entitled Education and Differential Vulnerability to Natural Disasters was published in the journal, Ecology & Society. More

New approach to measuring population aging

The first research results on redefining age and investigating improved methods for predicting life expectancy were published in 2013 by POP researchers. More

Assessing what level of fertility should be considered optimal

World Population Program (POP) researchers challenge the widespread notion that replacement level fertility is the most desirable level of fertility for countries currently both above and below that level. More

Completion of OUP population projections book

The IIASA World Population Program (POP) in close collaboration with other Wittgenstein Centre partners has finalized the book, World Population and Human Capital in the 21st Century, to be published by Oxford University Press. More

Progress on the SSPs

The joint work with IIASA’s Energy Program on the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) was completed at the beginning of 2013 and all the data was made available in the SSP Database on the IIASA website. More

Effect of cleaner air on well-being in India

Joint research by the World Population (POP) and Mitigation of Air Pollution (MAG) programs shows that advanced but costly measures to reduce fine particulate matter would improve air quality, human health, and longevity in India, and also pay for themselves in a few years by increasing productivity.  More


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Last edited: 22 May 2014

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