In light of the COVID-19 crisis, one of the most urgent policy issues is to gain a better understanding of the extent and ways in which demographics have determined different patterns of mortality in European countries due to the virus, and whether and how the pandemic and its economic consequences will affect population dynamics in the future. European demographers have been intensively working on these questions since the pandemic began. This policy brief offers an overview of the most important crisis outcomes identified by the demographic community in Europe to date, and points towards the pivotal trends that need to be tackled in the coming months.
This policy brief aims to offer an overview of the current state of scientific knowledge on the root causes of migration; review the opportunities and limitations of migration estimates and forecasts regarding future trends; and provide evidence-informed policy recommendations.
Binder-Hammer and colleagues analysed gender differences in intergenerational transfers to children and the elderly across 15 European countries. They found significant gender differences across countries related to time allocated to paid and unpaid work as well as how much men and women benefit from the pension system. These gender differences varied between countries.
Muller, Hiekel & Liefbroer investigate whether the "motherhood (earnings) penalty" holds true in the 21st century. Their results show that family trajectories do indeed have long-lasting consequences for women's personal earnings and employment, with women who follow traditional family trajectories facing the highest penalties.
How do countries differ in decisions to live alone over the life course? Researchers at the Centre d'Estudis Demogràfics & Universidad Complutense looked at global patterns and trends of those living alone based on sex and age. They found cross-national differences by gender and country-specific trends, and concluded that living alone is related to levels of individualism.
Juho Härkönen, M.D. (Anne) Brons & Jaap Dronkers found that children of divorce are among the forerunners of cohabitation as a replacement for marriage, choosing cohabitation over marriage at a faster rate than children of intact families. As cohabitation becomes more common, children from intact families "catch up" to children of divorce in their cohabitation patterns.
Marianne Tønnessen & Eleonora Mussino of the Stockholm University Demography Unit investigated fertility trends among immigrant women from low-fertility countries in their destination country of Norway, a moderate-fertility country.
Campolo & colleagues used an innovative methodology to investigate the roles of endogeneity of fertility, as well as gender and family attitudes and the bargaining process between partners, in the division of unpaid care work within couples.
Boissonneault & colleagues reviewed literature that studied the causes of increases in retirement age over the past 30 years in OECD countries. They found that changes to the social security systems effectively contributed to increases in observed retirement ages.
In Iceland, 70 per cent of children were conceived outside of marriage in 2018, yet marriage rates remain on par with the OECD average. Jónsson investigates whether the order of life course events, including cohabitation, marriage and childbirth, has changed over the past decades.
In the Netherlands, loneliness is more prevalent among Turkish and Moroccan older adults than among older native adults. To investigate possible explanations for this difference, Tilburg & Fokkema used survey data to compare five dimensions of loneliness between native and migrant groups.
Tina Hannemann (University of Manchester), Hill Kulu (University of St Andrews), Amparo González-Ferrer (Spanish National Research Council, CSIC Madrid), Pailhé (Institut National d'Études Démographiques, INED), Rahnu & Puur (University of Tallinn) investigated marriage, divorce, and cohabitation habits among immigrants and their descendants in four very different European countries: the UK, Spain, France, and Estonia. Their analysis demonstrated significant heterogeneity in partnership behaviour across migrant groups both within the same country and across the four European countries.
Dunatchik and Özcan find that a non-transferable paternity leave policy in Quebec had a short-term positive impact on mothers’ labour outcomes, including workforce participation and full-time employment.
Xiana Bueno (Centre d’Estudis Demogràfics) and Marc Grau-Grau (Harvard Kennedy School) conducted a qualitative study of how parents in Spain think about taking unpaid parental leave. They found that while the parental leave policy may be egalitarian on its face, couples continue to utilize it in a gendered manner.
Cosmo Strozza, Virginia Zarulli, and Viviana Egidi of the Interdisciplinary Centre on Population Dynamics (University of Southern Denmark) and University of Rome “La Sapienza” analysed the 90+ population in Denmark to study how demographics, socio-economic characteristics and one’s lifestyle affect changes in physical and cognitive health, whether there is a pattern to these changes and how physical or cognitive aspects affect transitions of the other dimensions.
Palloni & Walter explore possible causes of differences in fatality rates due to COVID-19 by gender, country, and region. These explanations include comparability of statistics and accounting of cases; variance in resources and capacity to cope with the pandemic; population health composition; and most notably, biology and epigenetics.
Francesco Billari of Bocconi University argues that the European Union must use COVID-19 crisis exit funds to prioritise investment in children and the institutions that shape them, their schools and families. These funds would be, if well-orchestrated, a social investment: Improving the life chances of children would diminish inequalities in the long term, and at the same time it would increase human capital, leading to economic growth in the long run.
Andreas Backhaus of the German Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB) summarises six potential pitfalls that can arise in the interpretation of coronavirus data. These pitfalls have the potential to mislead the public debate and thereby the course of future policy actions.
This open access book focuses on family diversity from a legal, demographical and sociological perspective. It investigates what is at stake in the life of homosexuals in the field of family formation, parenting and parenthood, what it brings to everyday life, the support of the law, and what its absence implies.
The provision of quality and affordable housing is an important mechanism for tackling child poverty, promoting the social inclusion of children and minimising the risk of homelessness among children in the EU. This memo outlines the housing conditions experienced by children across the EU and describes actions taken by EU countries and at the European level to improve the situation.
Demography matters. The economy, labour market, healthcare, pensions, regional development, and election results – all are driven by demography. EU Member States have their own strategies and policies in order to counteract demographic decline. The EU also has an auxiliary role when it comes to tackling demographic challenges. Nevertheless, the EU has limited legal powers when it comes to dealing with issues that are related to demography.
The findings of the Commission’s Demography Report show that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Policymaking needs to zoom into the reality on the ground. The European Union, Member States and regions have a shared interest in responding to demographic change for the benefit of all Europeans. Demographic change will affect everybody and must be a factor that helps steer Europe’s recovery from the crisis and provide us with insights as we build a more resilient, sustainable and fair Union.
Between mid-March to mid-June 2020, we collected the articles below in response to the coronavirus pandemic. This is a comprehensive list of what our partner institutes and experts wrote on the topic during this time. We thank the Population Europe community for their contributions to this valuable collection of early research on demography and the COVID-19 crisis.
Because the European Population Conference 2020 had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline for all European Association for Population Studies (EAPS) Awards has been extended to 1 July 2020.
Two researchers within our network, Melinda Mills of the University of Oxford and Sergei Scherbov of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), have received European Research Council (ERC) Proof of Concept Grants for their new projects.
Helga de Valk has been appointed by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences as director of the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) with effect from 1 November 2020. De Valk takes over from Leo van Wissen.
Professor James Vaupel, Interdisciplinary Centre on Population Dynamics at the University of Southern Denmark, has received a research grant to study consequences of COVID-19 related mortality. The project will investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on survival and mortality across different population groups and countries.
The journal is an interdisciplinary journal providing high quality debate on the issues, experiences and policies that impact young people’s lives. It aims to be of relevance to researchers, students, practitioners and policy-makers internationally. The journal publishes, theoretical and policy papers, and qualitative and quantitative analytical articles.