Skip to main content
Default banner


Population Europe Secretariat

Markgrafenstraße 37
10117 Berlin - Germany

Fon +49 (0)30 2061 383 -30
Fax +49 (0)30 2061 383 -50

Header Newsletter

Population Europe Newsletter - June 2020

Demography drives your future

This is the newsletter of Population Europe, the network of Europe's leading demographic research centres.

Books and Reports
Books and Reports: Understanding the Housing Conditions Experienced by Children in the EU
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.
Books and Reports: Demography on the European Agenda: Strategies for Tackling Demographic Decline
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.
Books and Reports: Report on the Impact of Demographic Change
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.
Call for Papers
COVID-19, coronavirus, pandemic
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.
News: European Association for Population Studies Awards
Extended Deadline for Award Nominations
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.
News: ERC Advanced Grants for Population Europe Researchers
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.
News:  Helga de Valk is the New Director of NIDI
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.
Policy Brief
COVID-19, pandemic, coronavirus
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.
How Can Europe Better Prepare for Future Migration Movements?
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. This brief is based on research conducted in the framework of the Horizon 2020 Project QuantMig: Quantifying Migration Scenarios for Better Policy (, and responds to a research interest of the Commission on the Root Causes of Displacement of the German Government.
Policy Insights
COVID-19: How can we explain differences in mortality?
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.
Democracy and Demography: It is time to invest in children
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.
Common Pitfalls in the Interpretation of COVID-19 Data and Statistics
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.
Pop Digest
Marriage, Divorce & Cohabitation
Much research has been dedicated to the family patterns of immigrants in Europe, but there are few cross-national comparisons. Hannemann, Kulu, González-Ferrer (Spanish National Research Council, CSIC Madrid), Pailhé, Rahnu and Puur 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.
Understanding Physical and Cognitive Health Decline in the Oldest-Old Population
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.
Gender (Im)Balance
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.
Is There Still a Penalty for Having Children?
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.
Living Alone or With Family
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.
Children of Divorce
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.