Current Research

Key project initiatives in 2018 include the following:

* Study the environmental and economic benefits of population aging

Often presented as a problem, recent research suggests that aging populations can be part of societies’ successful transition to environmental sustainability, and that the economic challenges they incur are manageable. We build on this research with a comparative study focused on nations that seem to be transitioning successfully toward older, smaller populations. Read our new article in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution (TREE)!

* Develop new population projections under different immigration and fertility scenarios for the European Union

Immigration policy is currently a key political issue throughout Europe, while many states pursue a range of pro-natalist fertility policies. Yet most countries have not developed population projections under different immigration and fertility scenarios that illuminate the long-term demographic implications of these policies. We seek to remedy this by developing new population projections to 2100 for EU nations under varied immigration and fertility scenarios corresponding to actual policy choices.

* Quantify the role population stabilization can play in mitigating and adapting to global climate change

It is well known that population growth is one of the two main drivers of continued increases in global greenhouse gas emissions (the other is growth in GDP per capita). Studies have shown that reducing future population growth could contribute substantially to efforts to limit global climate change, and to helping vulnerable societies adapt to the climate change that is inevitably coming. This study will develop up-to-date estimates of the roles population stabilization or reduction could play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and in increasing adaptability to likely climate change.

* Develop an ethical framework for addressing population issues

One reason for the lack of honest discussion of population matters is the fear that addressing population will lead to unethical policies or behaviors; hence the need to explore the ethics of population policy. This study will develop a framework for balancing interests and assessing policies grounded in the basic value of flourishing (both human and non-human). The goal is a framework that will provide guidance for population policy decisions that will help us create just and sustainable societies.

All this will be a lot of work and we could use your suggestions and advice! To contact us, click here, send your email addres to get on our mailing list for regular project updates.

To link to the best scientific resources on population matters, click here!