alexa Vienna Institute of Demography

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Vienna Institute of Demography

The Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) Headquarters at Vienna, Austria (until 2002: Institute for Demographie/IfD) is a research institute of the division for humanities and social sciences within the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) and part of the three "pillar institutions" of the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital.

After some groundwork by researchers interested in having a population studies institute in Austria, among them Wilhelm Winkler and Gustav Feichtinger, the Vienna Institute of Demography was established in November 1975 as a non-university research institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in close cooperation with the Austrian Statistical Central Office (now Statistik Austria). Founding director was Lothar Bosse (1914–1996), a German-born philosopher, mathematician and economist who remained at the head of IfD for twelve years. In the first few years, research activities were limited by budget restrictions and focussed on theory and basic research as well as applied demography.

In the period of 1985 to 2000, the institute and the research topic of demography received increasing attention, though there was a certain competition for scientific staff with the newly founded Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany. Research activity at VID continued to expand and received favourable attention by policy-makers and scientific peers, which showed in VID members participating in or coordinating major research projects, for instance within the European Union’s Framework Programmes, and obtaining recognition by being awarded sizeable grants from the European Research Council (ERC). Director Wolfgang Lutz received the Wittgenstein Award in 2010 and, with the 1.5-million-euro prize money, established the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital.
VID employs about 40 researchers, most of them from the fields of economics, mathematics/statistics, geography, health studies and sociology, to cover the major research topics of demography or population science: fertility, mortality and migration as well as a number of other fields of interest. Over time, the institute’s research focus has expanded from its core competences in Austrian and later European demography to a global perspective on the relevant issues of population and human capital development.