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Religion and fertility: The French connection
03/03/2015- News
Religion and fertility: The French connection
France has been among the first countries to become secularized but has preserved a Catholic identity. Before 2008, French laws made it very difficult to collect data on an individual’s religious affiliation. The dataset "Enquête Mode de Vie des Français" is the first allowing one to collect such data.
Researcher Thomas Baudin used this data to investigate in the impact that being a Catholic has on fertility in France. He tried to find answers on two main questions: 1. Do Catholic people have more children than others? 2. Why is this the case?
Baudin shows that practicing Catholics have more children than the rest of the population, while this is not verified for nominal Catholics. He also constructed two variables allowing him to detect that particularized ideology mechanisms can explain in part why religion has an impact on fertility in his dataset. Nevertheless,  he couldn't exclude the social interaction hypothesis. A multivariate analysis validates the main mechanisms of the rational actor model.
Fancy the Familiar
02/03/2015- Pop Digests
Fancy the Familiar
Racial Preferences in Online Dating across European Countries
Online dating is one of the fastest growing ways in which individuals in many countries meet a partner. Therefore, it can serve as an immediate gauge of wider race relations and integration in a country. However, at this point in time, this has hardly been scientifically explored outside of the United States, nor from a comparative perspective. Potârcă and Mills contribute to the field by examining the level of in- and out-group preferences in online dating across nine European countries.
Is help always helpful?
26/02/2015- Pop Digests
Is help always helpful?
Receiving Instrumental Support in Late Parent-Child Relationships and Parental Depression
Depression is a major public health problem and the most frequent cause of emotional suffering in later life, which significantly decreases the quality of life of older adults. Social support from family members, and especially children, is of key importance for mental health and well-being. In this study, Maja Djundeva, Melinda Mills, Rafael Wittek and Nardi Steverink explore the role of gender, functional limitations, and social interaction in the association between instrumental support from adult children and parental depression.
Policies at your fingertips: Population Europe launches data portal “PERFAR”
26/02/2015- press release
Policies at your fingertips: Population Europe launches data portal “PERFAR”
What are the policies designed to address population change in Europe, and how do these policies work within modern societies? To help answer these questions, Population Europe, the Network of Europe’s Leading Demographic Research Centres, has launched a freely accessible data portal of policies related to population developments: the Population Europe Resource Finder and Archive PERFAR ( This new tool for researchers, decision-makers, and science journalists offers not only a comprehensive collection of policies in currently up to 16 European countries covering various areas (family, education, employment, health, migration), it also contains further socio-economic and demographic information, and the latest research results in the field. PERFAR also directs users to relevant graphs and tables from diverse data providers. “Validated data that connects policies with social and demographic trends are key to evidence-based decision-making and policy analysis, but these data are often hard to find. PERFAR helps researchers, policy makers, and journalists to navigate through this complex area”, says Axel Börsch-Supan, the director of the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy, who oversees the activities of PERFAR together with Max Planck Directors Ulrich Becker (Munich) and James W. Vaupel (Rostock). Access to the data portal is free of charge and users will be able to easily conduct comparative analyses of policies across Europe. PERFAR was developed with support from the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science e.V. and the European Union. More information can be found at
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What are the policies designed to address population change in Europe, and how do these policies work within modern societies? To help answer these ...