Laboratory

Demographic Data

At a Glance Projects Publications Team

Detailed Description

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The Laboratory of Demographic Data is a world-leading team in the area of demographic data. Our flagship projects such as the Human Mortality Database (HMD) and the Human Fertility Database are more than just highly cited data projects. They define new standards for scientific datasets in demography, and they stimulate and facilitate research. Today, this is even more important than 20 years ago, when the Laboratory was established. It is not enough for researchers just to have a large amount of data to analyze. The data also need to be of high quality, comparable, well-documented, transparent, and easy to use. These principles, first formulated in the HMD project, are used as guidelines in all projects of the Demographic Data Laboratory.

As of May 2020, the Laboratory has been maintaining and developing six databases. All of them follow the principles of Open Data and can be freely used both by Institute researchers and international scholars worldwide.

Next to database work, the Laboratory is directly involved in the research process. Its members are engaged in projects on the analysis of demographic trends and patterns around the world, with a special focus on Europe. Researchers of the Demographic Data Laboratory actively work on the development of methods for the demographic measurements and reconstruction of data series.

The Laboratory performs five principal tasks:

  1. Developing and updating demographic databases on human mortality and fertility, and producing new data resources.
  2. Conducting research projects and data analyses.
  3. Coordinating and implementing demographic and biodemographic surveys in collaboration with international partners.
  4. Collecting and processing additional data from external sources.
  5. Engaging in teaching and supervising activities.

The Laboratory of Demographic Data is involved in a great many cooperative activities with other researchers and research groups within the MIPDR and has a large network of international collaborators.

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.