Busan Conference Report

The 2013 Busan Conference


The XXVII International Population Conference was held in Busan, Korea, from 26 to 31 August 2013. Over 2,100 population scientists, students and policy makers from 106 countries attended the conference to present and share their research and/or exchange on population issues in formal and informal events planned during the Conference. The IUSSP is very grateful to the Korean National Organizing Committee (NOC) for their extraordinary hospitality and the efforts they made to organize this Conference. 




Park UntaeAll conference abstracts and/or papers, PowerPoints of presentations made in plenary sessions and a complete Conference Report are available on the Busan Conference page  IUSSP website.





A survey of participants conducted shortly after the Conference showed that the Conference was a very positive experience for a large majority of respondents. Results show in particular that respondents appreciated the scientific quality of the Conference as well as their stay in Busan. 


Conference figures:

  • 4,159 submissions to the Call for Papers
  • 1,469 total communications accepted on the programme
  • 984 papers presented in the 268 regular sessions
  • 485 posters presented in the 4 Poster sessions
  • 2,459 population scientists listed as authors, session chairs and discussants
  • 8 NOC sessions on Asia Pacific
  • 4 plenary sessions 
  • 3 sessions on training (in addition to the 10 side meetings dedicated to training)
  • 25 side meetings organized by 27 institutions
  • 32 exhibit booths


Opening Ceremony


Keynote speech - François Héran
Keynote speech - François Héran
The Opening Ceremony included live addresses by Park Un-tae (IOC President), Peter McDonald (IUSSP President), Chin Young (Minister of Health and Welfare), and Hur Nam-sik (Mayor of Busan Metropolitan City); video addresses by Park Geun-hye (President of the Republic of Korea), Ban Ki-moon (United Nations Secretary-General), and Babatunde Osotimehin (UNFPA Executive Director); and a keynote speech by François Héran (former Director of INED, the French national institute of demographic studies) on “Fertility and family-support policies: what can be learned from the European experiences?”.


Little Angels
Little Angels

It was followed by a performance by the dance troupe Little Angels Children’s Folk Ballet of Korea and then by a Welcome Reception hosted by the Mayor of Busan Metropolitan City. 





Plenary Sessions

UNFPA Plenary: Population in the post-2015 Development Agenda
Chair: François Farah (United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA))

NOC Asia-Pacific Plenary: Economic development, information technology, and demographic processes 
Chair: Eui Hang Shin (Seoul National University)

IUSSP Plenary Debate: For developing countries, economic development needs to be a higher priority than environmental protection and conservation of natural resources
Chair: Peter McDonald (Australian National University)

  • In support of the statement
    David Lam, University of Michigan
  • Against the statement
    Eliya Msiyaphazi Zulu, African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP)


IUSSP Plenary on How families will change in the next 20 years
Chair:  Peter McDonald (Australian National University)
  • Panel Plenary on Family in the XXI century
    Panel Plenary on Family in the XXI century
Jennifer Johnson-Hanks, UC Berkeley
  • Asia
    Gavin W. Jones, National University of Singapore
  • Europe
    Wendy Sigle-Rushton, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
  • Latin America
    Albert Esteve Palos, Centre d'Estudis Demografics


Closing Ceremony

Junior Demographer
Junior Demographer
The Closing Ceremony included closing addresses by Park Un-tae (IOC President), Peter McDonald (outgoing IUSSP President), a presentation by the recipient of the 2013 IUSSP–Mattei Dogan Foundation Award for Comparative Research in Demography, Gunnar Andersson (Stockholm University), and a speech by the incoming IUSSP President for 2014-2017, Anastasia Gage (Tulane University). These addresses were followed by the Poster Awards Ceremony, presided by Myoung-Ock Ahn (CHA Unisversity), and by a speech on behalf of Junior Demographers given by Hasnani Rangkuti (Australian National University). 


Gunnar2013 IUSSP-Mattei Dogan Foundation Award for Comparative Research in Demography

Gunnar Andersson, Stockholm University






Closing Ceremony
Closing Ceremony

Closing address from the incoming IUSSP President

Anastasia Gage, Tulane University





Poster Awards

The IUSSP Council selected the best poster from each daily Poster Session. The 4 distinguished posters are listed below:


The schooling of migrant children across contexts: US- and Mexican-born children of Immigrants in the United States and Mexico • Jennifer E Glick, Carey E. Cooper and Scott T. Yabiku, Arizona State University. 

Sex-Selection in Pakistan: uncovering the truth • R. Batool Zaidi and Phil Morgan, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 


IUSSP General Assembly

The 27th General Assembly of the IUSSP brought together approximately 300 IUSSP members. Emily Grundy (Secretary General and Treasurer) reported on the Union’s activities and financial situation. Peter McDonald (IUSSP President) presented the report of the 2010-2013 Committee on Nominations and presented the list of candidates proposed by Council for the 2014-2017 Committee on Nominations. The General Assembly ended with statements from two countries, South Africa and India, wishing to host the 2017 International Population Conference. The General Assembly report is available on the IUSSP website.

2013 IUSSP Laureate

John Bongaarts (Population Council) received the 23rd IUSSP Laureate Award during a ceremony following the IUSSP General Assembly on Thursday 28 August. 


Side meetings and exhibit booths

Conference participants could visit booths set up by 32 institutions, publishers, research institutes and other organizations working in the population field.  Twenty-five side meetings were organized during the Conference.  The Conference evaluation conducted after the conference indicated good attendance with  89% of respondents visiting the exhibit booths and 56%  attending at least one side meeting. 




Social and cultural activities 

In addition to the Welcome Reception hosted by the Mayor of Busan Metropolitan City on Monday 26 August, the Korean NOC organized a special banquet dinner for all delegates of the Conference on Wednesday 28 August. 




IPC Sex ratio
IPC Sex ratio
Based on the 1,264 participants who registered online before the conference, the gender distribution was fairly balanced on the whole: 628 women (49.7%) and 636 men (50.3%). The proportion of women was higher for participants under 34. Participants younger than 34 accounted for 33% of all participants.

Participants hailed from all regions of the globe, but more than half the participants were from Asia; not a surprise given the location of the conference. 

Most participants were scholars and researchers (45%) or students (32%), but there were also many who worked for national governments, international and national NGOs (19%).