PhD in Historical Demography, University of Cambridge

Associate Dean of Humanities and Social Science
Associate Director of Leadership and Public Policy Executive Education

Division of Social Science
Division of Public Policy


Population policy
Ageing policy
Family policy
Health policy


I joined HKUST in 2017 as Associate Professor of Social Science and Public Policy. I have a joint appointment between the Division of Social Science in the School of Humanities and Social Science and the Division of Public Policy under the Interdisciplinary Programs Office. Prior to joining HKUST I was Associate Professor of Social Policy at the University of Oxford.

My research covers the links between population and policy, with a regional focus on Asia. In particular, I am interested in the emergence of low fertility across the region, and the consequences of this in terms of population ageing and growth.
My research has been published in a number of major journals in demography and other social science subjects. In 2017, my first book, Why Demography Matters (co-written with Danny Dorling) was published. I am also a regular contributor to the South China Morning Post and China Daily.

At HKUST I teach undergraduate courses in demography and social science research methods, while at the graduate level I teach public policy research methods. I have also organized Executive Education courses in public policy on the topics of ageing and future policy planning.

I am Associate Director of the Leadership and Public Policy Executive Education Program and a Faculty Associate of the Institute of Emerging Market Studies.

Highlighted publications

  • Gietel-basten, S.A. (2019), The "Population Problem" in Pacific Asia, UK, Oxford University Press

  • Gietel-basten, S.A. ; Mau, Vladimir; Sanderson, Warren; Scherbov, Sergei; Shulgin, Sergei (2020)  Ageing in Russia: a Regional Appraisal, Journal of Population Ageing, v. 13 2020,  p. 63-80

  • Gietel-basten, S.A. ; Saucedo, Silvia; Scherbov, Sergei (2020)  Prospective measures of aging for Central and South America, PLoS ONE, v. 15, (7), July 2020, article number e0236280

  • Cruz, Christian Joy Pattawi PPOL; Ganly, Rachel; Li, Zilin; Gietel-basten, S.A.  (2020)  Exploring the Young Demographic Profile of COVID-19 Cases in Hong Kong: Evidence From Migration and Travel History Data, PLoS ONE, v. 15, (6), June 2020, p. 1-13

  • Gietel-basten, S.A. ; Mau, Vladimir A.; Scherbov, Sergei; Shulgin, Sergey G. (2020)  The Gender Gap in Reaching “Old Age” in the Russian Federation: A Regional Approach, Journal of Aging and Social Policy, 2020

  • J. Abel, Guy; Gietel-basten, S.A.  (2020)  International remittance flows and the economic and social consequences of COVID-19, Environment and Planning A, 2020

  • Scherbov, Sergei; Gietel-basten, S.A.  (2020)  Measuring Inequalities of Development at the Sub-National Level: From the Human Development Index to the Human Life Indicator, PLoS ONE, v. 15, (4), April 2020, article number e0232014

  • Gietel-basten, S.A. ; Scherbov, S. (2019)  Exploring the ‘True Value’ of Replacement Rate Fertility, Population Research and Policy Review, November 2019

  • Gietel-basten, S.A. ; Scherbov, Sergei (2019)  Better Way to Measure Ageing in Oceania That Takes Life Expectancy Into Account, Australasian Journal on Ageing, June 2019

  • Chen, Mengni; Gietel-basten, S.A. ; Yip, Paul S.F. (2019)  Targeting and Mistargeting of Family Policies in High-Income Pacific Asian Societies: A Review of Financial Incentives, Population Research and Policy Review, 2019

  • Gietel-basten, S.A. ; Han, Xuehui; Cheng, Yuan (2019)  Assessing the Impact of the “one-child Policy” in China: A Synthetic Control Approach, PLoS ONE, v. 14, (11), November 2019, article number e0220170

  • Liu, Tong ; Gietel-basten, S.A.  (2019)  The Demography of Drug Abuse in Hong Kong, China Journal of Social Work, v. 12, (3), September 2019, p. 254-272

  • Gietel-basten, S.A. ; Verropoulou, Georgia (2019)  Maternity migration and the recent normalization of the sex ratio at birth in Hong Kong, Population Studies, March 2019

  • Dorling, D. and Gietel-Basten, S.A. (2017*) Why Demography Matters Cambridge: Polity

  • Wang, F., Cai, Y, Shen, K. and Gietel-Basten, S.A. (2017*)  Numbers, Politics, and Legacies of China’s One-Child Policy. Demography

  • Ding, X., Billari, F. and Gietel-Basten, S.A. (2017*) Economic development, income inequality, health infrastructure and health among Chinese midlife and older adults. International Journal of Public Health

  • Gietel-Basten, S.A. (2016) Why Brexit? The toxic mix of immigration and austerity. Population and Development Review  42(4): 673-680 Gietel-Basten, S.A. (2016) Theory and population forecasting. Asian Population Studies  12(1):1-3

  • Scherbov,S., Sanderson, W. and Basten, S.A. (2016) Better way to measure ageing in East Asia that takes life expectancy into account. Australasian Journal of Ageing  35(2):139-42

  • Basten, S.A. and Verropoulou, G. (2015) A re-interpretation of the ‘two-child norm’ in post-transitional demographic systems: Fertility intentions in Taiwan.PLOSOne , 10(8):e0135105

  • Basten, S.A. and Jiang, Q. (2015) Fertility in China: An uncertain future. Population Studies  69(s1): s07-s105

  • Coleman, D.A. and Basten, S.A. (2015) The demographic marginalization of the West: A less apocalyptic view. Population Studies  69(s1): s107-s118

  • Coleman, D.A., Basten, S.A. and Billari, F. (2015) Population: The long view. Population Studies 69(s1): s1-s9

  • Basten, S.A. and Jiang, Q. (2014) China’s family planning policies: Recent reforms and future challenges. Studies in Family Planning  45(4):493-509

  • Basten, S.A., and Crespo Cuaresma, J. (2014). ‘Modelling the macroeconomic impact of future trajectories of educational development in Least Developed Countries. International Journal of Educational Development  36(2014): 44-50