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The University of Southampton

King’s Honour for world-leading demographer

Published: 22 December 2022
Professor Jane Falkingham
Professor Jane Falkingham

A University of Southampton expert in population and international social policy has been awarded a CBE in the King’s New Year Honours.

Professor Jane Falkingham, Vice President (International and Global Engagement) at the University, Director of the ESRC Centre for Population Change (CPC) and Principal Investigator of ESRC Connecting Generations, has been recognised for her services to demographic research.

This is the second such Honour for Professor Falkingham, who was given an OBE in 2015 for services to social science, which she received from Prince William, Prince of Wales.

Reacting to the news, Jane said: “I am delighted to receive a CBE in the new King’s first Honours list. I am especially proud to be recognised for my contribution to my own discipline of demography, which I fell in love with whilst an undergraduate, inspired by amazing teachers. This Honour reflects their early mentorship and the on-going team achievements of my wonderful colleagues within the Centre for Population Change; I would like to express my sincere thanks to them all.”

President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton, Professor Mark E. Smith, commented: “It’s wonderful to see Jane and her work recognised in this way and I send her my warmest congratulations. She has made an outstanding contribution to demography over the years and this Honour is richly deserved. I’m sure her work will continue to go from strength to strength – benefitting society and contributing to the world-class research undertaken at our institution.”

Professor Falkingham has a long history of service to the social science community both in the UK and internationally. Her research lies at the interface between population studies and social policy – spanning both developed and developing countries. Much of her work focusses on the social policy implications of population ageing and demographic change, and what this means for the distribution of social and economic welfare.

As Director of the ESRC Centre for Population Change (CPC), Jane leads its work to improve the understanding of the drivers and consequences of population change, both nationally and globally. In 2021, the ESRC awarded £8.26m to the Connecting Generations research programme, led by Professor Falkingham as the Principal Investigator, to study how issues such as living standards, jobs and pay, housing costs, taxes and benefits, work-life balance, and caring responsibilities are affected by population and generational changes.

Professor Falkingham spent the first 21 years of her academic career at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She joined the University of Southampton in 2002 as a Professor, becoming Head of the School of Social Sciences in 2010 and Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences in 2014. She is a member of the ADRUK (Administrative Data Research UK) Steering Board, Chair of the European Population Information Centre, Population Europe and was Chair of the ESRC Covid-19 Rapid Response funding panel. She was elected as a Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences in 2011 and the Royal Society of Arts in 2016.

In 2020, Professor Falkingham and her team from the CPC won the ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize for Outstanding Public Policy Impact. The award recognised her work as Director of CPC since 2009, and the Centre’s outstanding contributions to public policy.

Jane is a regular commentator in the media on matters relating to population trends and society.

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