As a Harvard University cross-school, interfaculty initiative, the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies brings together scientists from all corners of the Harvard campus—and beyond—to make exciting advances in population research. With 8 billion people living on the planet and a projected 9.8 billion by 2050, our focus is on examining the most nuanced trends and important challenges in this century.

Research Focal Areas

Aging Societies

Fertility declines since the '60s and improvements in health care have resulted in rapidly aging global populations. We explore the impact on demographic distribution, living conditions, family structures, and other factors key to our welfare.

Youth, Family, and Social Mobility

Our work in this area focuses on a diverse and broad set of research questions, largely geared toward understanding and improving the well-being of marginalized populations, and advancing knowledge related to social mobility.

Work, Policy, and Well-Being

Over the last 15 years, we've been engaged with research that investigates (and reimagines) how employee well-being can be better supported through policies and strategies that create a healthier and more productive labor force.

Population Dynamics of Climate Change

This burgeoning area of study aims to advance the integration of population and climate sciences by investigating how population dynamics (and its drivers) influence humanity's possibilities for mitigation and adaption.