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Policy Insights

Researchers and collaboration partners of Population Europe as well as eminent experts from leading organisations contribute to the debate on demographic developments that are of public interest by providing insights into pressing policy issues.

By Veronica Toffolutti and Marc Suhrcke
Austerity regimes are associated with an increase in overall mortality and suicides. However, this effect is compensated by the decreasing mortality effect due to recessions. The exception is suicide-related mortality, which increases during both times of austerity and recession. These findings are highlighted in a recent paper published in Economics & Human Biology. [...]
Population science is a fortunate discip­line, methodologically speaking. As demo­graphers, we enjoy a wealth of available data and our subjects—birth, partnership, death, movement—are fairly clear cut. They are also easily subjected to interna­tional comparisons, which offer insight into general and country-specific trends. [...]
Interview with Chiara Pronzato
Population Europe (PE): Can research tell us what is more damaging for children’s future: a lack of money or a lack of parents’ time in their early childhood? [...]
Early childhood education is essential, but PISA reminds us that secondary education must play a role in achieving equality
by Daniela Vono de Vilhena In 2001, a secondary education policy debate left German society rattled. In December of that year, the OECD published its first Programme for International Student Assessment report. PISA revealed Germany, the economic engine of Europe, to be lagging behind its OECD counterparts in both performance and equality among 15-year-olds. [...]
by Fabrizio Bernardi and Gabriele Ballarino Widespread education is, without a doubt, one of the great achievements of modern, industrialised states. In gross terms, it has pulled millions out of poverty over the last century. In relative terms, it has facilitated unprecedented socio-economic mobility and, presumably, equality. Presumably. [...]
What demographic research can tell us about Europe‘s refugee crisis - an interview with Hill Kulu
“We should see large ethnic minority families as an asset for our low-fertility societies and ensure that these families are supported,” argues Hill Kulu, Professor at the University of Liverpool, in his exclusive interview for Population Europe. He offers a practical example: "In the UK, the housing stock mostly consists of two and three-bedroom houses; four-bedroom houses are seen as a luxury, but they are essential for many ethnic minority families to avoid overcrowding." [...]
Guest Comment by Jane C. Falkingham
62, 67 or 74 years ­- which age is right for retirement? This question causes heated debate across Europe and at times furious protest. But even if these somewhat extreme reactions strike us as people resisting the inevitable adjustments required of an ageing and shrinking population, the protesters actually have a point. A discussion narrowly focused on rising the retirement age is not the answer to demographic change, because it does not reflect the realities of people’s lives. Diversity and Differences [...]
Interview with Livia Sz. Oláh
Population Europe: In February this year, the large EU project "FamiliesAndSocieties – Changing families and sustainable societies: Policy contexts and diversity over the life course and across generations" was launched. What are the dimensions of the project and how is it funded?   [...]
Interview with Marc Goffart
Population Europe: What is the EU’s interest in research on families?   Marc Goffart: The EU’s research interest in families dates back to the late ‘80s, but actual policy developments (at the EU and international level, such as the OECD) are of more recent nature, which have initially centred around the demographic developments in Europe. [...]
Interview with Anne-Sophie Parent
Balancing work and family duties is already quite a challenge for lots of Europeans. Yet in the future, the care-needs of an increasing number of elderly people have to be met as well. How can modern family structures and childless people cope with these challenges? What can be done by individuals, as well as by society? Population Europe asked Anne-Sophie Parent: Q: Which challenges does ageing mean on an individual level?   [...]