It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of Professor Michel Loriaux on 12 February 2024. Michel Loriaux joined the IUSSP in 1969.

A graduate in social sciences (1962) and economics (1965) from the University of Liège, Michel Loriaux joined the demography team at the Catholic University of Louvain in 1969, where he completed his doctorate. He was appointed lecturer in 1994 and promoted to professor in 2002, after an already busy career at our University. From the 1970s onwards, he contributed to the development of several large-scale projects, including the demographic survey in Western Zaire (EDOZA) from 1975 to 1979, research on the demographic situation in Wallonia (POLIWA) between 1976 and 1979, and the International Centre for Training and Research in Population and Development (CIDEP) from 1987 to 1995. Throughout his career, he also conducted innovative and visionary research into demographic aging and intergenerational relations. 

Michel Loriaux was a multi-faceted intellectual. A fine methodologist, a fervent advocate of systemic approaches in the social sciences, a man of fieldwork, a man of convictions and debates, he was also a captivating teacher, capable of taking his students into technical, theoretical, and political territory. An outstanding writer, Michel Loriaux has left us with a wealth of scientific articles, columns, and other stimulating writings. In 2005, after the tributes he received at his emeritus ceremony, Michel Loriaux wrote: "The discomfort of being praised is sometimes more difficult to overcome than the displeasure of being criticized or disputed." His words were in his image, a blend of wisdom, piquancy, and humor. 

Michel Loriaux also had a great sense of service. In addition to his activities at the University, he chaired the Belgian Demography Society and the Association Générations, which focuses on intergenerational issues. Still very active after leaving the University, he remained faithful to his commitments to the causes that were close to his heart. 

We salute his memory. 

Anyone wishing to share a memory or reflection on a page in tribute to Michel Loriaux can send it to Isabelle Theys at the Centre de recherche en démographie (

Obituary provided by Bruno Schoumaker