This paper introduces a collection of related research studies on the anthropological demography of Europe. Anthropological demography is a specialty within demography that uses anthropological theory and methods to provide a better understanding of demographic phenomena in current and past populations. Its genesis and ongoing growth lies at the intersection of demography and socio-cultural anthropology and with their efforts to understand population processes: mainly fertility, migration, and mortality. Both disciplines share a common research subject, namely human populations, and they focus on mutually complementary aspects. The authors of this paper focus on the differences between the disciplines of anthropology and demography, the emergence of anthropological demography and its theoretical, methodological, and empirical aspects. In addition, they critically summarize the contributions that were presented in the first workshop of the Working Group on Anthropological Demography of Europe of the European Association for Population Studies, held in Rostock in Fall 2005 and reflect on how these papers add to the further development of anthropological demography in Europe, i.e. elaborating the epistemology of anthropological demography; applying additional theoretical perspectives to better understand demographic behaviour in Europe ; illustrating the way in which culture plays a role in case studies on European demographic behaviour; and emphasizing the need for a holistic approach to data collection and the added value of triangulating quantitative and qualitative analyses.