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Demographic Change in Central and Eastern Europe - Demographic Behaviour since 1990

Mar 11

The Annual Conference 2020 of the German Society for Demography (DGD) will take place in collaboration with the Center for Demography and Diversity at the Technical University of Dresden. The main topic is: „Demographic Change in Central and Eastern Europe – Demographic behaviour since 1990“.

The conference will be held with the participation of Eastern European demographic societies from Estonia (Estonian Demographic Association), Hungary (Hungarian Demographic Research Institute), the Czech Republic (Czech Society for Demography) and Poland (Committee on Demographic Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences). There will be a mix of German and English lectures.

The fall of the Berlin Wall was followed by thorough and rapid changes that affected all layers of society. Welfare state policies were fundamentally reformed and labour markets deeply restructured, leading to rapidly growing economic opportunities but also uncertainties among the population. Alongside this development, demographic behaviour has changed profoundly in the aftermath of the collapse of the formerly socialist societies. Women’s age at first birth increased, and period fertility dropped. Also affected was the marriage, divorce and non-marital childbearing behaviour, albeit to very varying degrees in the different countries. Moreover, mortality as well as migration patterns were deeply influenced by the regime change. A pressing research question at that time was under which conditions the family-related behaviour of the formerly socialist countries would start following “Western” patterns. Did these demographic behaviours between East and West eventually converge? Did value changes matter for family transformations? Which role did the restructuring of the welfare states play? What were the effects of labour market developments on demographic change? Which  distinct demographic features have remained until today in Central and Eastern European countries?  

Almost 30 years after German reunification, it is time to revisit these research questions. Together with the Center for Demography and Diversity at the TU Dresden, the Estonian Demographic Association, the Hungarian Demographic Research Institute, the Czech Society for Demography and the Committee on Demographic Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the German Society for Demography invites scholars to submit their work on “Demography in Central and Eastern Europe” to this annual conference. We invite contributions that address any of the themes covered by the Working Groups of the DGD. These are: 

  • Convergence or divergence? Data and methods to compare demographic developments in Europe (Central and Eastern Europe vs. “Western Europe”?) 
  • Demographic and societal developments in Central and Eastern Europe 
  • Family and fertility in Central and Eastern Europe: trends, determinants and policy implications 
  • Partnership formation and dissolution in Central and Eastern Europe 
  • Health and mortality in Central and Eastern Europe since 1990 
  • Migration in Europe since 1990 
  • Regional aspects of demographic change in Germany. Reflections on the German reunification process
Event information
11/03/2020 - 13/03/2020
German Society for Demography (DGD)
Technische Universität (TU) Dresden