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Policy Briefs

Population Europe’s policy brief series “Population & Policy Compact” comprehensively summarises cutting-edge research results and provides policy recommenda­tions on specific population topics. Within four pages, each volume provides a concise and succinct synthesis of key research findings by eminent researchers from the Network and other leading European experts.

Why we need EuroCohort, GGP and SHARE in Europe
Evidence-based policy requires high-quality data. Fortunately, we are living through a data revolution, which is opening up new opportunities for better quality data to feed into the policymaking process. There is an increasingly diverse range of data to help inform policy. Data from censuses and population registers, as well as from surveys, biomarkers, digital trace data and genetic data can help us triangulate and deepen our understanding of populations. However, when there is such a vast amount of data available, there is a danger that we end up drowning in numbers. [...]
The latest evidence on wellbeing and childbearing decisions in Europe
Key messages: Policies and services aimed at promoting work-life balance should sustain the wellbeing of parents, in particular mothers. Wellbeing following the first child is a key element leading to the progression to the second birth. This parity should constitute the main target for family and fertility policies. Securing stable employment and decent housing at younger ages for men and women are necessary measures for the onset of childbearing and to close the gap between desired and realised fertility intentions in Europe. [...]
Securing support in old age
Key messages: The gender pay gap and other risks linked to the devaluation of care work should be tackled by combating ageism; creating and enforcing a minimum standard of care provision; creating a professional qualification system and career pathways for professional carers; and by supporting community-based care with solutions that respect the dignity and identity of care receivers. [...]
A buzzword or a standard for migration governance?
Key messages: ‘Vulnerability’ is increasingly becoming a commonly used term within the legal and policy discourse on asylum and migration. It serves as a tool that guides the implementation of legal and policy frameworks in a way that addresses specific needs and prevents the emergence of new ones. ‘Vulnerability’ has the advantage of contextualizing migration policy, since it draws attention to the concrete experiences lived by migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.  [...]
What kind of impact is social media having on adolescent health?
Key messages: Adolescence is a time when young people establish habits, certain health behaviours and lifestyles that shape later life outcomes, however, there is not a wide range of research on adolescents’ health. The number of adolescents dealing with mental illness, specifically depression, is growing. Depression at this young age can have implications on one’s future mental and physical health. Social media use among adolescents has resulted in higher levels of unhappiness, anxiety and depression among young people. [...]
Is there a rising risk of more unequal ageing?
Key messages: Inequality in old age is a reflection of individuals’ paths over their entire life course. Younger generations in Europe today are likely to face higher inequality in old age due to less stable labour market conditions and widening inequalities in the distribution of earnings and household income. The reduction of inequalities inside societies must be tackled by measures addressing both intra-generational and intergenerational inequalities. [...]
Insights from a High-Level Policy Expert Meeting
In upcoming decades, population ageing in the Baltic Sea States is inevitable due to long-term population trends such as low birth rates and increasing life expectancy, as well as migration. As a consequence, the labour force will substantially shrink and become significantly older. Population ageing, therefore, will not only exert pressure on the sustainable funding of pension and healthcare systems, but also represents a challenge to economic prosperity, social cohesion and social sustainability between generations as a whole. [...]
The Increasing Advantage of the Married
Key Messages Married individuals live longer than the non-married, and in Norway and some other countries, this mortality gap has become larger over recent decades. Among the never-married in Norway, mortality did not fall over the last decades of the 20th century, and in 2005-08, mortality was as high for them as it was for the married three decades earlier. [...]
Insights from a Dialogue Between Researchers and Policy Makers
Key messages: Lone parenthood should always be defined in a way that all types of lone parents are included, regardless of their partnership status and the support provided by the other parent.  [...]
Key Messages: Increasing divorce and separation rates have major implications for current and future levels of housing inequality, patterns of social stratification and opportunities for spatial mobility. Prolonged residential instability after separation could lead to instability for individuals in other life domains (e.g. psychological wellbeing, children’s schooling, access to friendship networks, post-separation socio-economic status). [...]

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