Areas of research


Mortality is studied from a multi-disciplinary perspective and in the context of the final stages of health, epidemiological and demographic transitions, focusing on various sub-fields:

  • Mortality at advanced ages
  • Causes of death
  • Variability of the age of death
  • Laws and models of mortality

Extreme longevity

The changes that have taken place in the dynamics of longevity in countries with low mortality is the focus of this second research area, which can be divided into two sub-fields:

  • Centenarians, semisupercentenarians and supercentenarians
  • The limits of human longevity

Population aging

Among the key transformations taking place in the population structure of demographically advanced countries has been the progressive ageing of the population, a phenomenon that has accelerated over the course of recent decades. This trend carries with it series of social, economic, political and demographic consequences:

  • Structural changes in the population
  • The social consequences of aging

Demography and Health

While the “conquest” of longevity can be viewed as an advance because of the control over death that it implies, longevity itself is not synonymous with health, since a long life does not necessarily mean that the years lived will be of high quality. Studies in this field lead us to conclude that the ageing of the Spanish population is not connected to a rise in disability, but rather that to date it has remained in a state of “dynamic equilibrium” that characterizes Spain within the European context. From this perspective, the following sub-fields are explored:

  • Health and quality of life
  • Life expectancies in good health
  • Disability and dependency (Disability-Free Life Expectancy)
  • Gender inequalities in health

Demography and Gender

Two key factors justify this new research area. On the one hand, there is a need to introduce the gender variable in demographic studies, moving beyond the existing biological differences in the population. On the other hand, studies have confirmed the so-called “feminization of old age”, or the prevalence of women over men among the long-lived. The following sub-areas are studied:

  • Stages throughout the life cycle
  • Sexuality
  • Social and intergenerational networks
  • Health and disability at the end of life