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Data from the Generations and Gender Programme provide new insights on key demographic developments

Intentions to have children, to marry or divorce as well as the relationships with parents and grandparents or the distribution of housework between partners are a few examples of individual choices that impact demographic and societal outcomes which are of great interest for researchers and policymakers alike. Data from the Generations and Gender Programme, a system of national longitudinal Generations and Gender Surveys (GGS) and contextual database, allows researchers across the world to study these topics in-depth.

Some of the most recent insights gained on the basis of this data were presented at the 3rd GGP User Conference on 30 November and 1 December 2015 in Vienna. Researchers from the Erasmus University (the Netherlands), studied the family ties of Polish immigrants in the Netherlands to learn more about the quality and nature of the relationship they keep with their parents at home. They found that women with a higher education tend to have closer and more emotional contact with their parents while men and lower educated immigrants showed lower levels of contact and emotional support. Financial support in the form of remittances from the immigrants is only a minor element of the relationship with their parents. A surprising finding was that conflict was not a sign of weak ties with the parents but rather proved to be an indicator for the strength of the relationship.

Over 100 participants attended the two-day conference hosted by the Vienna Institute of Demography. The research findings from some thirty studies drawing on GGP data were presented and discussed, with additional 22 posters reviewed. Among the main topics discussed were issues and trends in couple formation and parenthood, non-marital childbearing and divorce; intergenerational relations and migration, health, care and well-being, intentions and their realizations.

The GGP was initiated by UNECE in 2000 and is now led together with a consortium of fourteen leading demographic research organizations and statistical institutes. Harmonized GGS data are currently available for 19 countries in wave 1 and 10 countries in wave 2, and can be accessed via: http://www.ggp-i.org/data/data-access.html

The contextual database can be found at http://www.ggp-i.org/ggp-contextual-database.html.