Discussion Paper No. 1: Perspectives of Policy Relevant Population Studies (2012)
This document highlights some of the emerging issues in policy-relevant population research in light of the fundamental demographic developments of our times. It sets an agenda of the most urgent topics and most exciting approaches in the field of policy-relevant population studies. The four sections of the document introduce and elaborate on main thematic fields of demographic research. In these, we handle the most relevant topics and enquiries on population dynamics that impact markets, society, and policies today and in the near future. Ageing, health and mortality is the first field and focuses on the relevance of changes over time in longevity and healthy ageing that have made population ageing a mass phenomenon, as well as questions current employment and welfare schemes. Second, the fertility and family field sheds light on the fall of intended and actual birth rates, changes in family forms, types and relations, and new insights on the intersection between family and work life. Next, migration and integration aims to understand the determinants of migration and the consequences for the receiving and sending countries in terms of migration’s impact on employment and welfare systems, as well as the paths of individual lives. Lastly, the field of cross-cutting research topics handles issues that go beyond traditional demographic research, such as interregional development or intergenerational relations, among others, which have become new wells of demographic interest due to their societal relevance. Finally, the last section presents a short review of the Methods and Infrastructure available to research.