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Policy Insights

Researchers and collaboration partners of Population Europe as well as eminent experts from leading organisations contribute to the debate on demographic developments that are of public interest by providing insights into pressing policy issues.

Employment disparities leave ethnic minorities in the UK under-pensioned
by Athina Vlachantoni It’s no secret that some societal inequalities are not, shall we say, fair. Just do the numbers. Systemic income disparities between ethnic groups are found in many countries. Women earn less money than men in all of them. Pension gaps are the cumulative consequence. [...]
The missing side of the gender revolution
It’s time to complete the gender revolu­tion. We fought for women’s rights in the public realms of politics and work. It is now time to fight for men’s equal rights within families. [...]
Five takeaways from the Families and Societies European Policy Brief on intergenerational dependence
by Daniela Vono de Vilhena Whether we are sandwiched or stretched in mid-life is a matter of metaphorical consistency. How we care for our grandparents, parents and children is a matter of policy that affects just about everyone. [...]
What population ageing does and does not mean for society
by Patrick I. Dick Ageism is, unfortunately, alive and well. In fact, it continues to be so pervasive that even its victims can be caught in the cycles that perpetuate it. [...]
Demographic policies can be thorny. Fam­ily policy is strongly linked with culture, and so easily and often politicised. Migra­tion quickly gives way to questions of iden­tity and economic uncertainty in a global­ising world. Yet both are complex and can take years to bear fruit. They require a strong foundation in scientific expertise— not ideological preferences for one model of living over another. [...]
by Ester Rizzi Do our children make us happier? It is a loaded question, but one with important policy implications—and therefore worth exploring. There is ample evidence to suggest that the birth of a child increases parents’ happiness in general. Survey results show a spike in happiness in the year of the birth of the first child. This jump is especially high for mothers, who reported an increase in happiness comparable to the drop reported following a divorce, about half a point (see Figure 1). [...]
Childlessness and the Ex-post Rationalisation Problem
by Patrick I. Dick A couple of weeks ago, television on (the ever-encroaching) Valentine’s Day was predictably replete with romantic comedies. Most of the films I recognised had happy endings—appropriate on a day of upbeat marketing. In many cases, happy endings meant children, or at least the commitment to start a family. One network bucked the trend, however, apparently deciding that childlessness fit the bill. [...]
by Sebastian Königs Latvia faces a huge demographic challenge. Since restoration of its independence in 1991, the country lost more than a quarter of its resident population. In 2015, the population dropped below 2 million for the first time since the 1950s, down from 2.7 million in 1989. [...]
by Michaela Kreyenfeld Explanations for childlessness have long abounded in popular culture. Some have chalked it up to decaying mores, others to cataclysmic events like war or economic disaster—still others to policy, which can be the cause or effect of any of these. But like so much in science, reality does not necessarily fit, or at least fit nicely, with what we “observe” on a daily basis. [...]
by Tracey Burns “My son was accepted into film-making camp, and he’s only seven years old! I’m so proud. The only problem is that I’m not sure how I will get him there since the twins have their dance class and then empathy workshop on the same afternoon” – On the phone with my friend, I make polite noises but inside I am thinking: what ever happened to kids having time to run around and just have fun? [...]

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