Demographic Data

At a Glance Projects Publications Team

Research Area

Scientific Service

The Laboratory of Demographic Data is deeply involved in the management of research data at the MPIDR.

The Laboratory’s researchers provide guidelines and methodological support on data collection for many internal MPIDR projects as well as for collaborative international projects, and they supervise data collection and access to the data in most sensitive cases. This work is done in addition to conducting their own specific data projects on mortality and survival and on fertility and family dynamics.

Technical and practical work performed by the Laboratory includes assistance in data collection, the coordination of access to the collected data, and the implementation of personal data protection measures. These tasks are carried out by research assistants and student helpers.

The main tasks in research data management performed by the Laboratory include (i) the coordination of data requests from researchers, (ii)) the control of personal data protection measures for sensitive datasets, and (iii) the maintenance of the register of the privacy-sensitive datasets. For example, the Laboratory assists researchers from other Laboratories in maintaining remote access to the Finnish register data at Statistics Finland in the framework of the joint project Social Determinants and Consequences of Changing Childbearing in Finland.

The Laboratory of Demographic Data maintains several international and national datasets generated in collaboration with MPIDR-researchers or provided by external researchers. Below are a few examples (a nonexhaustive list):

  • German cause-of-death data. Original data and reconstructed data series for East and West Germany.
  • Finnish Longitudinal Fertility Data (Statistics Finland, Helsinki)
  • A collection of selected demographic data from ODE (Observatoire démographique européen, Paris, France). The whole ODE archive was temporarily moved to the MPIDR. Once digitalized, data availability will be extended to researchers outside the MPIDR.
  • Harmonized Union and Fertility Histories. This series is part of a comparative database of reproductive and union histories from a number of countries in Europe and the United States, a database held at the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute. The Laboratory was responsible for data cleaning and the harmonization of data series until the end of 2020.
  • The Survey on Stress Aging, and Health in Moscow. The survey provides data for the project Biological Mechanisms of Stress-Related Hazard in Moscow. Currently, the Laboratory is responsible for storing the data and providing access to the data.

The Laboratory of Demographic Data also works on a new version of the MPIDR data catalog. The main goal is to achieve a more transparent and user-friendly structure. The catalog will be used to control the sensitive data sets at the MPIDR, provide researchers with a clear overview of available data sets, and share experience on getting access to external resources.

Research Keywords:

Data and Surveys

Region keywords:


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.