The Centre’s research in the field of migration aims to take a global view on the ebb and flow of internal and international movements. We want to better understand where people are moving around the world and how the dynamic flows can best be captured empirically. The work of our small team involves the application of innovative statistical models, spatial analysis tools, multi-regional projection models, novel data visualisation techniques, and demographic and geographic theory linked to the causes, patterns and consequences of migration.

In a study published in the journal Science in 2014, we gave the first comprehensive view of international migration flows over the 20-year period 1990 to 2010. We created a circular migration plot which visualises the relative size and direction of migration streams within the global system of flows. You can take your own tour of the global flow of people by visiting www.global-migration.info. Our work is policy relevant and application orientated in that many of our tools and visualisations have attracted interest from the scientific community, policy makers, high school teachers, the international media, and the general public.



Key Questions / Concepts

1) Quantifying international migration flows
a. How did the global system of migration flows evolve over time?
b. How does the volume and spatial structure of migration vary by gender, age and education?

2) Projecting international migration
a. How can we derive sensible assumptions about future trends?
b. Which factors are most likely to drive future trends?
c. How can migration best be modelled in multistate projection frameworks?

3) Communicating migration research
a. How can research be communicated effectively to a wider audience?
b. Which data visualisations are best suited for flow data?

4) The impact of migration on population change
a. What’s the role of internal migration in shaping small-scale population change?
b. How does international migration impact on population size and structure across time and space?

The Wittgenstein Centre aspires to be a world leader in the advancement of demographic methods and their application to the analysis of human capital and population dynamics. It is a collaboration among the World Population Program of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), the Vienna Institute of Demography of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (VID/ÖAW) and the Demography Group and the Research Institute on Human Capital and Development of the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU).

Wittgenstein Centre Partner: WU Wittgenstein Centre Partner: OEAW Wittgenstein Centre Partner: IIASA