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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.

Childlessness and the ex-post rationalisation problem
by Patrick I. Dick A couple of weeks ago, television on (the ever-encroaching) Valentine’s Day was predictably replete with romantic comedies. Most of the films I recognised had happy endings—appropriate on a day of upbeat marketing. In many cases, happy endings meant children, or at least the commitment to start a family. One network bucked the trend, however, apparently deciding that childlessness fit the bill. [...]
by Sebastian Königs Latvia faces a huge demographic challenge. Since restoration of its independence in 1991, the country lost more than a quarter of its resident population. In 2015, the population dropped below 2 million for the first time since the 1950s, down from 2.7 million in 1989. [...]
What’s Old, What’s New, What’s Innovative
by Michaela Kreyenfeld Explanations for childlessness have long abounded in popular culture. Some have chalked it up to decaying mores, others to cataclysmic events like war or economic disaster—still others to policy, which can be the cause or effect of any of these. But like so much in science, reality does not necessarily fit, or at least fit nicely, with what we "observe" on a daily basis. [...]
by Tracey Burns "My son was accepted into film-making camp, and he’s only seven years old! I’m so proud. The only problem is that I’m not sure how I will get him there since the twins have their dance class and then empathy workshop on the same afternoon" – On the phone with my friend, I make polite noises but inside I am thinking: what ever happened to kids having time to run around and just have fun? [...]
by Aurelijus Veryga In principle, the goal of any public health policy is to make people’s lives in terms of health problems as boring as possible. When people don’t have to worry about their health, they can live out their normal lives, they can spend time with their families, they can work. Here is why I think lives in Europe are not boring enough yet. [...]
OECD’s Pensions at a Glance 2015
by Monika Queisser [...]
An interview with Aurelijus Veryga
If we may, we’d like to start this interview with a challenge. Explain to me, in as few words as possible, the rational—the raision d’être—behind public health policy. AV: To be very short, public health policy should make people's lives, in terms of health problems, as boring as possible so they can live out their normal lives, so they can spend time with their family, so they can work. I would say this is the most general definition of public health. [...]
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." [...]
by Agnes Uhereczky Let’s begin with a challenge. Find for me a working parent or carer who has not experienced some form of negative treatment from their boss or co-workers because of their caring responsibilities. This can range from sarcastic comments to outright demotion. I expect there are few. [...]
Why many migrants and their families have defied Spain’s historic economic downturn
by Amparo González-Ferrer Spanish emigration has captured headlines in recent years. It is understandable considering how historically emotive the phenomenon has become in a country so many were forced to leave throughout the 20th century. But the situation of Spain’s own immigrant population also deserves some reflection. [...]

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