Prof. dr. L.J.G. (Leo) van Wissen


Leo van Wissen is senior researcher and former director of NIDI. He is also professor of Economic Demography at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences of the University of Groningen (see His research interests include demographic modelling and forecasting, ageing, regional population change, spatial interaction, and regional modelling. He supervised more than twenty PhD’s on topics such as economic-demographic interactions, migration, regional demographic change, ageing, health and wellbeing, population decline, and firm demography. He published numerous articles in international peer reviewed journals on each of these topics and is (co)author of a number of scientific books.

He teaches quantitative methods and techniques as well as projection models in the master program Population Studies in the Department of Demography at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences. He was also vice-dean of the faculty in the period 2008-10.

Leo van Wissen was educated as a human geographer at the Free University in Amsterdam (MSc and PhD). His PhD (1987) was entitled ‘A dynamic model of household relocation’ and was supervised by Professor Nijkamp. He worked at the Free University, and as guest researcher at the University of California at Irvine and the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium.

He is the president of the Netherlands Demographic Society NVD, a member of the European Association for Population Studies EAPS, and member of the board of the European Doctoral School for Demography EDSD. He is a member of the Academia Europaea and has served as member of review committees for both national and international scientific programs.

Besides demography his passion is in piano playing.


Professor of Economic Demography at the Population Research Centre, University of Groningen

Ancillary positions (nevenfuncties)


Spatial demography, quantitative modelling, projection models


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