21 September 2016

Demographic differential vulnerability to climate-related disasters

The latest Vienna Yearbook of Population Research highlights demographic and socio-economic differentials to the benefit of the international risk, vulnerability and climate change community.

Floods in Bangkok © Manit Larpluechai | Dreamstime

Floods in Bangkok © Manit Larpluechai | Dreamstime

This special issue of the Vienna Yearbook of Population Research is the product of a thematic conference focused on demographic differential vulnerability to natural  disasters in the context of climate change adaptation, organized jointly by the IUSSP Scientific Panel on Climate Change, the College of Population Studies, Chulalongkorn University, and IIASA's World Population Program (POP) in 2014. The seminar was the concluding meeting of an ERC (European Research Council) Advanced Investigator Grant awarded to POP Program Director Wolfgang Lutz in 2008 on the topic “Forecasting societies’ adaptive capacity to climate change.” 

Selected conference participants were invited to contribute their on-going research on vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, to take stock of what scientific progress has been made to date, and to discuss priorities for future research. The 9 fully peer reviewed papers are themed around 4 major subjects:

  • Differential mortality from extreme climate events
  • Spatial patterns of social vulnerability to weather and climate extremes
  • Differential risk perceptions and climate actions
  • Forecasting future societies’ vulnerability and adaptive capacity through the lens of human capital

In addition, distinguished demographers around the world were also invited to contribute to Demographic Debate section on "Why are so few demographers working on population and climate change?". The 6 debate pieces provide indept analysis of the underrepresentation of the study on population and climate change in demography and discuss the potentials of demographers in making contribution in this field.

Guest editors of this special issue were POP Scientist Raya Muttarak and POP collaborator Leiwen Jiang.

Publication Details

Muttarak, R. and Jiang, L. (2016) Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2015. Verlag der Oesterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna, Austria.


Raya Muttarak, Wolfgang Lutz, Leiwen Jiang

What can demographers contribute to the study of vulnerability?

Peter McDonald
Engagement of demographers in environmental issues from a historical perspective

Anastasia J. Gage
The next best time for demographers to contribute to climate change research

Lori M Hunter, Jane Menken
Will climate change shift demography’s ‘normal science’?

Xizhe Peng, Qin Zhu
Barriers to involvement of Chinese demographers in climate change research

Adrian C. Hayes
Population dynamics and climate change: A challenging frontier for the intrepid demographer

Wolfgang Lutz
Two statements on population and sustainable development produced by global scientific panels in 2002 and 2012

Emilio Zagheni, Raya Muttarak, Erich Striessnig
Differential mortality patterns from hydro-meteorological disasters: Evidence from cause-of-death data by age and sex

Zhongwei Zhao, Yuan Zhu, Edward Jow-Chung Tu
Daily mortality changes in Taiwan in the 1970s: An examination of the relationship between temperature and mortality

J. Andres F. Ignacio, Grace T. Cruz, Fernando Nardi, Sabine Henry
Assessing the effectiveness of a social vulnerability index in predicting heterogeneity in the impacts of natural hazards: Case study of the Tropical Storm Washi flood in the Philippines

Alex de Sherbin, Guillem Bardy
Social vulnerability to floods in two coastal megacities: New York City and Mumbai

Jacqueline Meijer-Irons
Who perceives what? A demographic analysis of subjective perception in rural Thailand

Raya Muttarak, Thanyaporn Chankrajang
Who is concerned about and takes action on climate change? Gender and education divides among Thais

Erich Striessnig, Elke Loichinger
Future differential vulnerability to natural disasters by level of education

Jesús Crespo Cuaresma, Wolfgang Lutz
The demography of human development and climate change vulnerability: A projection exercise

Elke Loichinger, Samir KC, Wolfgang Lutz
A four-dimensional population module for the analysis of future adaptive capacity in the Phang Nga province of Thailand 

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Last edited: 04 October 2016


Raya Muttarak

Principal Research Scholar Migration and Sustainable Development Research Group - Population and Just Societies Program

Wolfgang Lutz

Interim Deputy Director General for Science Directorate - DDG for Science Department

Principal Research Scholar and Senior Program Advisor Population and Just Societies Program

Principal Research Scholar and Senior Program Advisor Social Cohesion, Health, and Wellbeing Research Group - Population and Just Societies Program


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