04 June 2019
Brussels, Belgium

Demographic scenarios for the EU

IIASA together with the JRC is inviting to the launch event of a new flagship  report on migration, population and education scenarios for the EU.

People group shape map Europe © Roman Fedin | Dreamstime.com

People group shape map Europe © Roman Fedin | Dreamstime.com

Demographic changes are long-term, and they occur at a steady and predictable pace. Thus, building demographic scenarios may help evidence-based planning for the future. The Centre of Expertise on Population and Migration (CEPAM) Project, a collaboration between JRC and IIASA have produced a new report that makes projections for 2060 to understand the long-term impact for the EU of trends in fertility, mortality, migration, and changes in education levels and labour market participation. It analyses alternative scenarios that may limit or counteract the undesirable consequences of current trends.  

At the event World Population Program Director Wolfgang Lutz and Vladimír Šucha, Director-General of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, will present key report findings, followed by a high level panel discussion.

The report finds that:

  • Thanks to advances in medicine and quality of life, Europeans are living longer and can lead more productive lives. The average life expectancy at birth in the EU is now about 81 years – 9 years more than the global average. The EU can also look forward to an even better educated labour force in the future, with as much as 59% of the labour force achieving post-secondary education. With the coming changes from automation and AI, a highly educated labour force offers a welcome capacity for adaptability.
  • Though better educated, the EU's future labour force will be smaller. This means that European workers will need to support more dependents in the future. The report analyses possible solutions. Increasing labour force participation rates has the highest potential to alleviate the dependency burden. Similarly, integrating immigrants to achieve the same labour force participation rates as Europeans has the same effect on dependency ratios as a full doubling of migration inflows
  • Intra-EU mobility drives another key aspect of the EU's future demographics – namely, movement towards the west. Some eastern and southern Member States have already experienced marked population declines. If the trend continues, some EU Member States could see their population shrink by as much as 30%. The large emigration flows also lead to accelerated population ageing for these eastern and southern Member States.
  • As the EU and its demographics do not exist in isolation, the future of global population growth and the possible trajectories for development are also taken into account. The report shows that global population growth in large part depends on population growth in Africa. As the education of girls has the strongest and most consistent connection to lower fertility, expanding girls' education in Africa is highly significant for the size of the future world population. If education trends continue as they have in recent years, the world population will reach 9.6 billion people in 2060. If education stalls, world population reaches 11 billion – with Africa contributing over 50% of the increase.

Event details:

Title: Demographic Scenarios for the EU - Migration, Population and Education

Date: 04 June 2019, 10 AM - 1 PM

Location: CDMA Atrium, Rue du Champ de Mars 21, Brussels

Registration: Registration is required


The Centre of Expertise on Population and Migration (CEPAM),is a collaboration between IIASA’s World Population Program and the JRC and was launched to provide comprehensive assessments of the drivers of possible future migration to Europe and study the implications of alternative future migration scenarios that could help to inform European policies from 2019 onwards. In 2018, CEPAM launched their first book presenting an essential background study for that work. 

The book entitled "Demographic and human capital scenarios for the 21st century" was produced by IIASA together with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) under the leadership of Lutz. It examines potential future scenarios on population trends across the world, taking into account migration, fertility, mortality, education, and labor force participation. The work was conducted in the framework of CEPAM. 

Print this page

Last edited: 24 May 2019

Centre of Expertise on Population and Migration (CEPAM)

Lutz L, Goujon A, Samir KC, Stonawski M, Stilianakis N eds. (2018) Demographic and human capital scenarios for the 21st century. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union


International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313