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Allianz European Demographer Award goes to Researchers in Vienna and Oxford

  • Allianz European Demographer Award Winners Tomas Sobotka and Felix Tropf
    Dr Tomáš Sobotka (left),  Prof. Zsolt Spéder (center; Director, Hungarian Demographic Research Institute and President, European Association of Population Studies) and Dr Felix Tropf (right). Source: Population Europe
  • Allianz Demography Award Winners 2017
    All the winners of Allianz Awards. Source: Population Europe
Allianz European Demographer Award Winners Tomas Sobotka and Felix TropfAllianz Demography Award Winners 2017

Berlin, 15th February 2017 – Dr Tomáš Sobotka and Dr Felix Tropf are the laureates of the Allianz European Demographer Award 2017. Sobotka, Head of the Research Group “Comparative European Demography” at the Vienna Institute of Demography of the Austrian Academy of Sciences VID, received the award for his game-changing studies in the areas of fertility, childlessness, assisted reproduction and European population trends. Tropf, postdoctoral researcher at Oxford University, received the award for his PhD dissertation on the impact of genes on demographic behaviour, which he completed at the University of Groningen.

“I am extremely pleased to be presented with this award“, says Dr Sobotka. “The question of when people become parents, how many children they have or whether they stay childless, is crucial for looking into the future of our populations. At the same time, we still do not know enough about these phenomena. The award is not only a great honour, but also another spur for my team and me to further advance demographic research.” In addition to his role as Head of Research Group, Sobotka is also the principal investigator of EURREP (Fertility and Reproduction in the 21st Century Europe), a project funded by the European Research Council (ERC).

The Allianz European Demographer Award called for nominations of scientists across Europe, whose research makes a significant contribution to the public discourse on demographic trends in the 21st century, such as new family forms, flexible life course patterns and work life, sustainable social security, as well as issues of migration and integration. The award honours one experienced researcher and one junior researcher. After a selection process lasting several months, an international scientific jury voted for Tomáš Sobotka and Felix Tropf.

Dr Andreas Edel, member of the jury and Executive Secretary of Population Europe (, the Network of Europe’s Leading Demographic Research Centres, says: “This year’s laureates Dr Sobotka, one of the leading demographers in Europe, and Dr Tropf, a highly promising junior researcher, show once more that the scientific study of populations in Europe is strong and capable of looking into the important and complex questions of our societies.”

The award was presented on the first day of the 6th Berlin Demography Forum (BDF), which took place on the 15th and 16th of February 2017. About 200 international experts from the political, economic, civil society and scientific communities discussed their insights into this year’s main topic “Education and Integration”.

More information can be found at


Award Winners

Tomas Sobotka is the head of the research group “Comparative European Demography” at the Vienna Institute of Demography of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (VID/ÖAW). He is also the principal investigator of the project EURREP (Fertility and Reproduction in the 21st Century Europe), which is funded by the European Research Council.

Sobotka received his PhD from the Population Research Centre at the University of Groningen in 2004. Since then, he has worked at the VID/ÖAW and was one of the co-creators of the Human Fertility Database along with Joshua Goldstein and Vladimir Shkolnikov. His research interests include fertility, childlessness, assisted reproduction and population trends in Europe.


Felix Tropf is a Sociologist at Nuffield College, the University of Oxford. Since 2015, he has been working as a postdoc. He is working with Dr Melinda Mills on the Sociogenome Project, which is funded by the European Research Council, and on a ERSC project that looks at the integration of genetic data into the social sciences.

Tropf received his Diploma (Master equivalent) from the University of Bamberg in 2011 and received the Allianz Newcomer Award in 2012 from the German Society for Demography (DGD). From 2011 until 2015, he was a doctoral researcher and lecturer at the ICS Graduate School at the University of Groningen. His research interests include demography, sociogenomics, sociology, life-course research and gene-environment interaction.


Laureates of the Allianz European Demographer Award


Professor Dr Helga de Valk, NIDI (Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute), Netherlands


Dr Jakub Bijak, University of Southampton, United Kingdom


About the Berlin Demography Forum (BDF)

The Berlin Demography Forum (BDF) is a global, cross-party platform providing a new impetus to raise the general public’s awareness of the significance of demographic change, both at a national and international level. The forum brings together high-ranking politicians, scientists, business leaders and representatives of international organisations and civil society to discuss potential solutions and contribute to this important debate. Since the first meeting in 2012, the BDF takes place annually. The BDF was founded by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and Allianz Deutschland AG. Today it is also supported by Diakonie Deutschland, the Federal Ministry of the Interior, and the Federal Ministry of Health. Chair of the BDF is Professor Jörg Rocholl PhD. The BDF will be hosted by the ESMT European School of Management and Technology.


About Allianz Deutschland AG

The Allianz Group is represented in about 70 countries and one of the largest financial service providers worldwide. Allianz Group’s biggest and most important market is Germany, where Allianz started its business in 1890. Allianz Deutschland AG provides a range of insurance services, from accident and life insurances to health insurances. Its 8,400 representatives and about 30,000 employees generate a total revenue of about 30 billion Euros a year, corresponding to 25% of the total revenue of Allianz worldwide.


About Population Europe

Population Europe is the Network of Europe’s leading demographic research centres with currently 30 partner institutes across the continent, amongst which are three institutes of the German Max Planck Society. Furthermore, the network collaborates with a number of international institutions such as Eurostat, the United Nations and the OECD. The Secretariat of the Network is in Berlin and hosted by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research.