March 26, 2004 | Press Release

Research strengthens public dialogue: The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, and the Vienna Institute for Demography are jointly starting an information letter

"Demografische Forschung Aus Erster Hand" (lit. "First-Hand Demographic Research") is the title of a new information letter published by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, in co-operation with the Vienna Institute for Demography. The first issue appears in April 2004.

The new information letter is published by Prof. James Vaupel and Prof. Jan Hoem (both in Rostock) as well as Dr. Wolfgang Lutz (Vienna). It aims to strengthen the dialogue between research and the public. The publishers agree that researchers should not merely write for the research community but also make their findings accessible to a wider public. This is especially important in view of an issue that currently is being discussed throughout Europe: the recent and emerging demographic changes. Fertility rates have been declining and are at a low; society is on the threshold of aging. Also, internal and international migration are changing the structure of the population.

The social, economic, and political consequences of these developments are enormous. It is thus essential to understand the context in which these demographic changes are embedded in order to assess them and know how to deal with them adequately. Scientific research into demographic change makes an essential contribution to this end: It describes the structures and elements of the demographic developments, analyses the causes of these changes and provides an insight into the resulting societal consequences. Finally, it builds a foundation for the viability analysis of alternative policy proposals.

"Demografische Forschung Aus Erster Hand" aims above all at journalists, politicians, and interested persons from related fields. Every issue will contain three to five articles written in German on topics of importance to research in Germany and Austria. The first priority is to introduce studies produced by one of the participating institutes.

The topics of the first issue are:

  • Ostdeutsche Mütter sind jünger und seltener verheiratet. Familienbildung in Deutschland behält Differenzen bei.
  • Können Einwanderer Bevölkerungsalterung aufhalten? Langfristige Wirkungen alternativer Geburten- und Migrationstrends für Österreich und die EU geschätzt.
  • Immer mehr Menschen können 105. Geburtstag feiern. Studie zur Langlebigkeit der ältesten Deutschen: Anzahl der Höchstaltrigen nimmt rapide zu.

"Demografische Forschung Aus Erster Hand" appears four times yearly and is available in electronic as well as in print form. It can be ordered free of charge. Orders can be made under

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.