Strategic Research Project

Strategic research program

2013-2022 | internal funding of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Research objectives

Changes in the structure of our population, including ageing and migration, are a hot topic in media and politics. And rightly so, because on closer inspection, there is hardly a policy that is not affected by demographic change. But when it comes to increasing life expectancy, health, fertility and migration, how do we compare to Europe and the rest of the world? What differences exist within the country, both regionally and between different strata of the population? And how can this knowledge be used to serve a forward and sustainable policy?

Since January 1, 2013, ID’s research program has been recognised as a Strategic Research Program of the VUB with an important funding. Our SRP-project ‘Demographic Challenges of the 21st Century’ pieces together all the information obtained in our research on fertility, health, mortality, migration, urbanisation etc. to present a bigger picture of global and regional population dynamics. It allows us to see changes in the population at large and long-term and even “predict” population trends.

The broad and multidisciplinary orientation of ID results in a thorough involvement with the most important demographic challenges of the 21st century. This general objective is operationalized in five research foci (RF): three thematic research lines (1-3), one transversal research line largely focusing on regional population dynamics (4) and one focus grouping supporting activities related to data management (5). In short they can be summarized as follows:

(1) Household formation and fertility
(2) Social determinants of health and mortality and population ageing (RF2)
(3) International Migration and ethnic minorities (RF3)
(4) Internal migration, (sub-)urbanisation, and regional population dynamics (RF4)
(5) Data infrastructure (RF5)