Third Demog­ra­phy Prize for Young Researchers 2010/11

The third demog­ra­phy prize was ded­i­cat­ed to the fol­low­ing topic:

Old major­i­ty – young minor­i­ty: Where is a pow­er shift between gen­er­a­tions already vis­i­ble and how can you bal­ance it?”
For fur­ther infor­ma­tion about the demog­ra­phy prize click here.


Demo­graph­ic change has long since become a real­i­ty – we are becom­ing few­er and old­er. Accord­ing to the 2009 pop­u­la­tion pro­jec­tion pre­sent­ed by the Ger­man Fed­er­al Sta­tis­tics Office, the Ger­man pop­u­la­tion will drop to 65 mil­lion peo­ple (today: 82 mil­lion) by 2060. One hun­dred peo­ple of work­ing age will then have to pro­vide for 60 pen­sion­ers. Peo­ple over 65 will make up more than one third of the Ger­man pop­u­la­tion and only about 16% will be under 20. Today, the shares of peo­ple aged over 65 and under 20 are still about the same size.

In April 2008, the for­mer Ger­man Fed­er­al Pres­i­dent, Roman Her­zog, already warned Ger­many of turn­ing into a “pen­sion­er democ­ra­cy” in order to call atten­tion to the set of prob­lems con­nect­ed to the nom­i­nal­ly ris­ing num­ber of old­er vot­ers. But are West­ern democ­ra­cies actu­al­ly like­ly to become “geron­toc­ra­cies” pre­vent­ing the young from hav­ing a say? Has demo­graph­ic change already affect­ed elec­tion results and campaigns?
Polit­i­cal par­ties may ask, as well, if and how the age­ing process in soci­ety has by now affect­ed their pro­grammes and the staffing of par­ty com­mit­tees. Is there a need and is it even pos­si­ble to coun­ter­act this trend?


2008/09: „How can oppor­tu­ni­ties für young peo­ple be acti­vat­ed in regions with a shrink­ing population?“

The Insti­tute for a Bet­ter Demo­graph­ic Future awards the Demog­ra­phy Prize for Young Sci­en­tists every two years since 2007. The dead­line for all entries was Sep­tem­ber 1st 2009. Also its sec­ond edi­tion, 2008/2009, is char­ac­ter­ized by the high qual­i­ty of the replies: ten arti­cles writ­ten by a total of 17 Euro­pean authors are in the final round of the com­pe­ti­tion. It is also remark­able that the authors come from a great vari­ety of sci­en­tif­ic fields: eth­nol­o­gy, social sci­ences, polit­i­cal sci­ence, cul­tur­al man­age­ment, eco­nom­ics, psy­chol­o­gy, social ped­a­gogy, phi­los­o­phy, jour­nal­ism, geog­ra­phy and busi­ness admin­is­tra­tion. The diver­si­ty of the arti­cles there­by mir­rors the inter­dis­ci­pli­nary rel­e­vance of the top­ic. In addi­tion to their over­all qual­i­ty, the papers fea­ture new, inno­v­a­tive approach­es and inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research designs.

The jury has award­ed three of the sub­mit­ted articles.

The first place is shared by the fol­low­ing submissions:

Oppor­tu­ni­ties and Pos­si­bil­i­ties for Young Peo­ple in Shrink­ing Cities” by Felix Kroh and “Don’t Waste Your Youth” by Karsten Bär, Anja Erd­mann and Corin­na Hamann.

The arti­cle “Zachte G: a mod­ern approach towards build­ing net­works for young peo­ple in a shrink­ing region“ by Maya Rocak and Mau­rice Her­mans was cho­sen for a spe­cial award.

On March 5th 2010 the win­ners were hon­oured dur­ing the pro­ceed­ings of a sym­po­sium where they were also giv­en the oppor­tu­ni­ty to present their work.

You can find more infor­ma­tion on the 2nd Demog­ra­phy Prize, as well as the award­ed works, here (in German).

2006/07: Demog­ra­phy Prize: Increas­ing the Birth rate in Ger­many with­in the frame­work of a Lib­er­al Society

In 2007, the Insti­tut für demografis­che Zukun­fts­fähigkeit [Insti­tute for a Bet­ter Demo­graph­ic Future] will award the first Demog­ra­phy Prize for Young Sci­en­tists val­ued at €10,000 €. This mon­ey is donat­ed by Stiftung Apfel­baum — Lern­pro­jekt für Ko-Evo­lu­tion und Inte­gra­tion [Apple­tree Foun­da­tion — A Learn­ing Project for Co-evo­lu­tion and Integration].


Aim of the competition

The Demo­graph­ic prize for young sci­en­tists is an impor­tant con­tri­bu­tion to improv­ing pub­lic con­scious­ness on demo­graph­ic themes. The com­pe­ti­tion, the announce­ment of the win­ners and the even­tu­al pub­li­ca­tion of the win­ning entries will all serve to expose peo­ple to themes that are impor­tant to the Insti­tute for a Bet­ter Demo­graph­ic Future (idz).

Ques­tions for the 1st Demog­ra­phy Prize

a) To what extent do you think the over­all fer­til­i­ty rate in Ger­many could be increased?

b) To what extent do you think pre­cise rec­om­men­da­tions for the respon­si­ble insti­tu­tions and/or per­sons in Ger­many could be derived from the over­all fer­til­i­ty rates in oth­er devel­oped coun­tries which are gen­er­al­ly higher?

The prize will encour­age dis­cus­sions about demo­graph­ic change, give it a sci­en­tif­ic base, and high­light dif­fer­ent ways today’s deci­sion-mak­ers could deal with it. The idz would like to increase the num­bers of dis­ser­ta­tions and the­ses writ­ten on this sub­ject by rais­ing aware­ness of the theme at an ear­ly point in time.

The idea is that by writ­ing a the­sis on the sub­ject, a life­long inter­est in the top­ic is cre­at­ed. In France, every child knows the total fer­til­i­ty rate of the French pop­u­la­tion, in Ger­many how­ev­er the demo­graph­ic con­scious­ness is under­de­vel­oped. This is what needs to be changed.

Award cer­e­mo­ny

The awards cer­e­mo­ny took place on Novem­ber 9, 2007 with­in the Sym­po­sium “Ways to More Chil­dren in Ger­many” at the Gov­ern­ment Offices of Sax­ony in Berlin. If you are inter­est­ed in the pro­gram of the cer­e­mo­ny, which took place with­in the Sym­po­sium “Ways to More Chil­dren in Ger­many” at the Gov­ern­ment Offices of Sax­ony in Berlin