Sergei Scherbov's research while affiliated with University of Vienna and other places

Publications (147)

Preprint
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Life expectancy at birth (both sexes) in the US was 1.9 years lower in 2020 than in 2019. This reduction has been widely discussed. This 1.9 year reduction compares a group of people who would live their entire lives at the 2019 survival rates with a group that would live their entire lives experiencing the pandemic survival rates of 2020. Here we...
Article
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Accurately counting the human cost of the COVID-19 at both the national and regional level is a policy priority. The Russian Federation currently reports one of the higher COVID-19 mortality rates in the world; but estimates of mortality differ significantly. Using a statistical method accounting for changes in the population age structure, we pres...
Article
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Objective Muscle strength is a powerful predictor of mortality that can quickly and inexpensively be assessed by measuring handgrip strength (HGS). What is missing for clinical practice, however, are empirically meaningful cut-off points that apply to the general population and that consider the correlation of HGS with gender and body height as wel...
Article
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The ATHLOS cohort is composed of several harmonized datasets of international groups related to health and aging. As a result, the Healthy Aging index has been constructed based on a selection of variables from 16 individual studies. In this paper, we consider additional variables found in ATHLOS and investigate their utilization for predicting the...
Article
Preventive healthcare is a crucial pillar of health as it contributes to staying healthy and having immediate treatment when needed. Mining knowledge from longitudinal studies has the potential to significantly contribute to the improvement of preventive healthcare. Unfortunately, data originated from such studies are characterized by high complexi...
Preprint
Recent technological advancements in various domains, such as the biomedical and health, offer a plethora of big data for analysis. Part of this data pool is the experimental studies that record various and several features for each instance. It creates datasets having very high dimensionality with mixed data types, with both numerical and categori...
Preprint
The ATHLOS cohort is composed of several harmonized datasets of international cohorts related to health and aging. The healthy aging scale has been constructed based on a selection of particular variables from 16 individual studies. In this paper, we consider a selection of additional variables found in ATHLOS and investigate their utilization for...
Preprint
Full-text available
Preventive healthcare is a crucial pillar of health as it contributes to staying healthy and having immediate treatment when needed. Mining knowledge from longitudinal studies has the potential to significantly contribute to the improvement of preventive healthcare. Unfortunately, data originated from such studies are characterized by high complexi...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Research efforts to measure the concept of healthy ageing have been diverse and limited to specific populations. This diversity limits the potential to compare healthy ageing across countries and/or populations. In this study, we developed a novel measurement scale of healthy ageing using worldwide cohorts. Methods: In the Ageing Trajec...
Chapter
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People’s views on population ageing are influenced by the statistics that they read about it. The statistical measures in common use today were first developed around a century ago, in a very different demographic environment. For around two decades, we have been studying population ageing and have been arguing that its conventional portrayal is mi...
Article
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Background The COVID-19 virus pandemic has caused a significant number of deaths worldwide. If the prevalence of the infection continues to grow, this could impact life expectancy. This paper provides first estimates of the potential direct impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on period life expectancy. Methods From the estimates of bias-adjusted age-s...
Article
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The concept of ‘replacement rate fertility’ [RRF] is widely known and referred to regularly in the popular, policy and academic literature. Sometimes presented as a ‘target’ or an ‘ideal’ fertility rate, it is usually specified as being a period total fertility rate [TFR] of ‘around 2.1’. This paper has two goals—firstly to explore the extent to wh...
Article
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By conventional measures, it is often remarked that Central and South America is one of the fastest aging geographic regions in the world. In recent years, however, scholars have sought to problematize the orthodox measures and concepts employed in the aging literature. By not taking dynamic changes in life expectancy into account, measures which h...
Article
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Commonly used measures of population aging categorize adults into those who are “old” and those who are not. How this threshold of the stage of “old age” is determined is crucial for our understanding of population aging. We propose that the old age threshold be determined using an equivalency criterion. People at the old age threshold should be ro...
Data
The European Demographic Data Sheet 2020 reviews, explores and visualises recent population trends in 45 European countries. The data sheet also provides a snapshot of the current research at the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital and collaborating researchers, with the 2020 issue focused on measuring and assessing educatio...
Article
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Increasing life expectancy and a growing share of older people around the world spotlight the issue of health during additional years of life. Research on trends of proportions of older people with activity limitations for low and middle income countries is sparse. We use data from the World Health Survey and the UN World Population Prospects to pr...
Article
Reaching older age and longevity in later life is determined by health and mortality across the life course. In the case of Russia, the history of high male mortality skews the interaction between population aging and gender. These differentials can be viewed through a spatial lens in order to both understand their causes, and to better determine p...
Article
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We investigated the relation between alcohol drinking and healthy ageing by means of a validated health status metric, using individual data from the Ageing Trajectories of Health: Longitudinal Opportunities and Synergies (ATHLOS) project. For the purposes of this study, the ATHLOS harmonised dataset, which includes information from individuals age...
Research
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Background The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant number of deaths worldwide. If the prevalence of the virus infection continues to rise, it can potentially have an impact on life expectancy. This paper provides first estimates of the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on period life expectancy. Methods From the estimates of bias-ad...
Article
Full-text available
Despite being one of the most common measures of development, the Human Development Index [HDI] has been much criticized for its consistency, data requirements, difficulty of interpretation and trade-offs between indicators. The ‘Human Life Indicator’ [HLI] has been proposed as a ‘simple effective means’ of measuring development and, more specifica...
Article
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This paper examines how older individuals living in 9 European countries evaluate their chances of survival. We use survey data for the years 2004 and 2015 to construct population-level gender-specific subjective length of life (or subjective life expectancy) in people between 60 and 90 years of age. Using a specially designed statistical approach...
Article
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Russia, in common with most industrial and post-industrial countries, is currently grappling with the challenge of population ageing. While there have been many studies of ageing at the national level, the regional differentials and consequences of such population change have been largely ignored for Russia, as indeed for elsewhere. In this study,...
Article
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A perennial activity of demographers is to estimate the percentage of the world’s population which is above or below the ‘replacement rate of fertility’ [RRF]. However, most attempts to do so have been based upon, at best, oversimplified, or at worst, simply incorrect assumptions about what RRF actually is. The objective of this paper is to calcula...
Article
Objective: The aim of the study was to improve the measurement of ageing in Oceania taking into account characteristics of populations and, in particular, changes in life expectancy. Method: Using past and projected life tables, we calculated prospective old age dependency ratios (POADRs) to 2060, placing the boundary to old age at a moving poin...
Article
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The Ageing Trajectories of Health – Longitudinal Opportunities and Synergies (ATHLOS) cohort harmonizes existing longitudinal data from 17 international cohort studies. It aims to achieve a better understanding of the impact of ageing on health and to propose timely clinical and public health interventions to optimize and promote healthy ageing....
Article
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Unlike other biological populations, the human population is experiencing long-run increases in life expectancy. Those lead to changes in age compositions not typical for other biological populations. Sanderson and Scherbov (2015a) demonstrated that, in many countries in Europe, faster increases in life expectancy lead to faster population aging wh...
Article
Subjective survival probabilities (SSPs) are a good predictor of mortality, go beyond the aggregate description of survival defined by life tables, and are important for individuals’ decision-making in later life. However, despite the well-known mortality differentials by education as well as by characteristics such as smoking, little investigation...
Chapter
Probably the most famous demographic riddle of all time is the one that the Sphinx was said to have posed to travellers outside the Greek city of Thebes: ‘Which creature walks on four legs in the morning, two at noon, and three in the evening?’ Unfortunate travellers who could not answer the riddle correctly were immediately devoured. Oedipus, fres...
Article
Condensed into a detailed analysis and a selection of continent-wide datasets, this revised edition of World Population & Human Capital in the Twenty-First Century addresses the role of educational attainment in global population trends and models. Presenting the full chapter text of the original edition alongside a concise selection of data, it su...
Article
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Objective To project the proportion of population 65+ years with severe long-term activity limitations from 2017 to 2047. Design Large population study. Setting Population living in private households of the European Union (EU) and neighbouring countries. Participants Participants from the EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions aged 55 ye...
Article
Most studies of population aging focus on only one characteristic of people: their chronological age. For example, the Old Age Dependency Ratio categorizes people as “old” at age 65, regardless of whether they were living 50 years ago or likely to be living 50 years in the future. But 65-year-olds today generally have higher remaining life expectan...
Article
ATHLOS aims to identify healthy ageing trajectories, the main determinants, the time when changes in trajectories are produced, and to propose timely interventions to optimise healthy ageing. Moreover, a new definition of ‘old age’ based on many characteristics rather than just chronological age will be used for calculating projections and guide po...
Article
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We merge two methodologies, prospective measures of population aging and probabilistic population forecasts. We compare the speed of change and variability in forecasts of the old age dependency ratio and the prospective old age dependency ratio as well as the same comparison for the median age and the prospective median age. While conventional mea...
Article
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Aging is a complex, multifaceted phenomenon. In this paper, we provide an integrative approach that allows for the study of numerous dimensions of aging within a unified framework. The framework is based on the translation of quantitative measures of people's characteristics into a new form of age measure, called "alpha-age." Two individuals who ha...
Article
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Variously defined, the 'emerging markets' [EMs] are frequently held up as the countries that will shape global economic development in the 21st century. However, it is also often said that population ageing could limit growth in many EMs. In this paper, we explore the conventional measurements employed to demonstrate population ageing in EMs, and t...
Article
Objective: To provide an example of a new methodology for using multiple characteristics in the study of population aging and to assess its usefulness. Method: Using the English Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSA), we investigate three characteristics of each person 60 to 85 years old, by level of education, hand-grip strength in 2004 (measured in...
Article
Objective: Most studies of population aging focus on only one characteristic of people: their chronological age. Many important characteristics of people vary with age, but age-specific characteristics also vary over time and differ from place to place. We supplement traditional measures of aging with new ones that consider the changing characteri...
Poster
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check the recent demographic indicators, population trends, and the new website with additional content at www.populationeurope.org Should you wish to receive the print version of the poster contact the Vienna Institute of Demography and we will mail you one.
Article
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BACKGROUND Married people live longer than the unmarried; micro-level research indicates that they enjoy better health. Macro-level research does not combine mortality, marital status, and health. OBJECTIVE We provide international comparisons of healthy and unhealthy life years at ages 50 and higher combining mortality, marital status, and health....
Article
Aim: The aim of the study is to improve the measurement of ageing taking into account characteristics of populations and in particular changes in life expectancy. Method: Using projected life tables, we calculate prospective old age dependency ratios (POADRs) to 2060, placing the boundary to old age at a moving point with a fixed remaining life...
Article
Full-text available
BACKGROUND In low mortality countries, assessing future ageing depends to a large extent on scenarios of future mortality reduction at old age. Often in population projections mortality reduction is implemented via life expectancy increases that do not specify mortality change at specific age groups. The selection of models that translate life expe...
Article
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The dependency ratio and its components have had a long and productive life. Here we show that they are no longer the most accurate way of measuring important aspects of population aging. We present ratios related to employment, standardized workers and consumers, health care costs, pension costs, and who is old. These ratios are based either on ne...
Article
Cognitive decline correlates with age-associated health risks and has been shown to be a good predictor of future morbidity and mortality. Cognitive functioning can therefore be considered an important measure of differential ageing across cohorts and population groups. Here, we investigate if and why individuals aged 50+ born into more recent coho...
Article
In this paper, we use the concept of prospective age to illuminate patterns of aging by gender, and education in Europe. We find that, within countries, the patterns of aging of men and women with high education are comparatively similar to one another, but that the patterns of aging are quite dissimilar for men and women in the low education group...
Article
It is a commonly held view that Southeast Asian societies are ageing rapidly. This has led to a high level of policy concern about the future capacity of states to cope with increased levels of ‘old-age dependency’ which, at first glance, often appear almost unmanageable. We suggest that the rates employed to demonstrate the present/future scale of...
Article
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Counterintuitively, faster increases in human life expectancy could lead to slower population aging. The conventional view that faster increases in human life expectancy would lead to faster population aging is based on the assumption that people become old at a fixed chronological age. A preferable alternative is to base measures of aging on peopl...
Article
In their Report “World population stabilization unlikely this century” (10 October, p. [234][1]; published online 18 September), P. Gerland et al. used a United Nations (UN) 2012 assessment to support their claim that the population will not peak this century, despite our earlier work indicating
Article
Migration has become a key factor in the growth and replacement of populations. But demographic tools for its analysis remain simple. This paper is our response to those problems. We propose a set of simple, single-number indicators, which summarise the aggregate effect of the major contributing factors to the reproduction of populations. Our estim...
Article
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People in different subgroups age at different rates. Surveys containing biomarkers can be used to assess these subgroup differences. We illustrate this using hand-grip strength to produce an easily interpretable, physical-based measure that allows us to compare characteristic-based ages across educational subgroups in the United States. Hand-grip...
Article
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Background: Coping with aging populations is a challenge for most developed countries. Supporting non-working adults can create an unsustainable burden on those working. One way of dealing with this is to raise the normal pension age, but this has proven unpopular. A complementary approach is to raise the average labor force participation rate. The...
Article
Conventional measures of population aging, such as proportions over age 65, can present a misleading picture of the aging process by not taking account of changes in people's characteristics beyond their chronological age—for example, changes in remaining life expectancy, health and morbidity, disability rates, and cognitive functioning. The “chara...
Article
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Background: Depending on whether the global level of fertility is assumed to converge to the current European TFR (~1.5) or that of Southeast Asia or Central America (~2.5), global population will either decline to 2.3-2.9 billion by 2200 or increase to 33-37 billion, if mortality continues to decline. Furthermore, sizeable human populations exist...
Article
The highly acclaimed The Future Population of the World contains the most authoritative assessment available of the extent to which population is likely to grow over the next 50 to 100 years. The book provides a thorough analysis of all the components of population change and translates these factors into a series of projections for the population...
Article
We present new probabilistic forecasts of the timing of the world's population reaching 8 billion, the world's peak population, and the date at which one-third or more of the world's population would be 60+ years old. The timing of these milestones, as well as the timing of the Day of 7 Billion, is uncertain. We compute that the 60 percent predicti...
Article
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Population aging is an international concern, in part because of consequences of coming age-structure changes, e.g., growth in the number of elderly, decline in the number of youth, and accompanying economic and social costs (1–4). These expectations are based on conventional measures of aging that link expected phenotypes to fixed chronological ag...
Article
Adjusting aging forecasts to incorporate increases in longevity and health can provide better tools for policy-makers.
Article
In Sanderson and Scherbov (2005) we introduced a new forwardlooking definition of age called “prospective age” and argued that its use, along with the traditional backward-looking concept of age, provides a more informative basis upon which to discuss population ageing. Age is a measure of how many years a person has already lived. Everyone of the...
Chapter
It is well known that China accounts for one-fifth of the population of the world, making China’s population trends directly relevant for global population dynamics. In this context, it is surprising how much uncertainty exists about current demographic conditions in the world’s largest country. Recently published estimates of China’s total fertili...
Article
This paper addresses in a systematic demographic manner the widely discussed question: To what extent can immigration compensate for low fertility in Europe? We begin with a set of 28 alternative scenarios combining seven different fertility levels with four different migration assumptions at the level of the EU-15 to 2050. Next, we address the res...
Article
Population ageing is, in the first instance, a demographic phenomenon; although its consequences go far beyond demography. But the future trends of ageing are not yet known and many of the consequences of ageing will depend on the future speed and extent of ageing. Here we summarize what is already known and what is not yet known about future agein...
Article
The future paths of population ageing result from specific combinations of declining fertility and increasing life expectancies in different parts of the world. Here we measure the speed of population ageing by using conventional measures and new ones that take changes in longevity into account for the world as a whole and for 13 major regions. We...
Article
In the first half of this century in many of today's developed countries, the proportion of voting age populations 65 years old or older will roughly double. As voting age populations age, the proportion of net contributors to national budgets (mainly through taxes) will fall and the proportion of net beneficiaries (mainly through public pension an...
Article
We report here spatially explicit scenario interpretations for population and economic activity (GDP) for the time period 1990 to 2100 based on three scenarios (A2, B1, and B2) from the IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES). At the highest degree of spatial detail, the scenario indicators are calculated at a 0.5 by 0.5 degree resolution...
Article
During recent years there has been an increasing awareness of the explanatory power of population age structure variables in economic growth regressions. We estimate a new cross-country regression model of the effects of age structure change on economic growth. We use the new model and recent probabilistic demographic forecasts for India to derive...
Article
Full-text available
In Sanderson and Scherbov (2005) we introduced a new forward-looking definition of age and argued that its use, along with the traditional backward-looking concept of age, provides a more informative basis upon which to discuss population aging. Age is a measure of how many years a person has already lived. In contrast, our new approach to measurin...