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Having data that is rich and of excellent quality is one of the important reasons for the scientific success of the MPIDR. The amount of data available has always been a priority for researchers. However, today, when vast amounts of data are available on the Internet, having a lot of data is not enough. Data can be inaccurate, incomplete, or inconsistent; it could come from questionable sources and be unreliable. That is why the DataLab is primarily interested in not just the amount of data collected, but having data of the highest possible quality and accuracy.
The DataLab is developing and maintaining world’s leading resources on mortality and fertility data in developed countries: the Human Mortality Database and Human Fertility Database. The laboratory is also responsible for several other online databases on human mortality and fertility. All DataLab databases follow principles of Open Data and can be freely used both by the Institute’s researchers, and international scholars worldwide.
The Laboratory is also involved in the research process. Its members are engaged in projects on analysis of demographic trends and patterns around the world, with a special focus on Europe. The DataLab researchers actively work on development of methods for the demographic measurements and reconstruction of data series.
The Laboratory performs five principal tasks:
- developing and updating demographic databases on human mortality and fertility, and producing new data resources
- conducting research projects and data analyses
- coordinating and implementing demographic and biodemographic surveys in collaboration with international partners
- collecting additional ready-to-use data from external sources and compiling relevant links to internet data sources
- engaging in teaching activities
The Laboratory of Demographic Data is engaged in numerous cooperative activities with other researchers and research groups within the MIPDR and has a large network of international collaborators.