Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR)

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) is part of the Max Planck Society, one of the internationally most renowned German research organisations. The MPIDR is a springboard and an international melting pot for scientists and free-spirited ideas.

Situated in Rostock, a lively urban centre close to the beaches of the Baltic Sea, the MPIDR attracts many talented, young researchers who work here or take part in scientific training, such as in the ambitious International Max Planck Research School for Population, Health and Data Science, or the European Doctoral School of Demography. Together with the faculty for demography at Rostock University the MPIDR has established a strong collaboration for education in population research.

The MPIDR was founded in 1996 and counts over 170 employees. Scientists here tackle the challenges of constant demographic change brought about by varying rates in fertility, aging dynamics, and migration processes. The MPIDR covers a broad spectrum of basic research into demographic processes, investigates root causes of demographic change, explains current demographic trends, produces novel forecasts and provides decision-makers in various political and social institutions with solid information and expertise. In the context of sustainable development, robust demographic data is essential for finding new ways to manage the challenges of our time.

Besides setting the standard for classic demographic methods, MPIDR is also at the forefront of developing new and cutting-edge methods and theories. One of the institute’s priorities is to lead the development of Digital and Computational Demography by using people’s digital traces on the Internet and elsewhere to measure and predict demographic change. MPIDR researchers investigate how to cope with the challenges of Big Data in population research, gauging new techniques and the insights that can be gained from them. Experts in Rostock are committed to collecting and maintaining a global treasure of high-quality demographic data. The databases administered here, like the Human Mortality Database, the Human Fertility Database, or the new Human Cause-of-Death Database with its standardised methodology for comparison of countries and time, set the international benchmark in population research.

The research and work of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research mainly contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals 3, 5 and 10.