Wittgenstein Centre Conference 2021

The Causes and Consequences of Depopulation

Although global population is still growing, an ever larger number of regions and countries are experiencing a decline in population size, and the COVID-19 pandemic may have further accelerated the process. Undoubtedly, depopulation poses many challenges from economic, social, political, and strategic perspectives. In the public and policy discourse, negative views are often emphasised but may population decline also open up opportunities?

We invite submissions that address, for instance, the following questions:

  • What are differential drivers of population decline?
  • What are the long-term consequences of population decline for economic growth and investment, the sustainability of social security systems and governments’ budgets, and the maintenance of public infrastructure and services?
  • Are there differences in the economic consequences of population decline when the decline is driven by low fertility or by outward migration?
  • Are declining populations less innovative?
  • What is the impact of population decline on inequality and equal life chances?
  • How might (the fear of) depopulation be linked to perceived threats to culture and identity?
  • How to include potential demographic, social, economic, and environmental feedback effects into models of depopulation?
  • Which policies could mitigate the challenges associated with population decline?
  • Might population decline be something desirable, e.g., from an environmental perspective?

This conference aims to bring together researchers from around the world working on population decline and its consequences from demographic, economic, sociological, political, environmental, and geographical perspectives.

The conference will take place 29.11.-01.12.2021 in full distance mode via Zoom. There is no conference fee. A special issue of the Vienna Yearbook of Population Research will focus on the conference theme, Depopulation. Conference participants will be invited to submit their research to the journal.

Starts:  Nov 29, 2021 09:00 (AT)
Ends:  Dec 1, 2021 17:00 (AT)