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Data from the Generations and Gender Programme widely used at Europe’s largest conference for population research

Data from the Generations and Gender Programme (GGP) , a system of national longitudinal Generations and Gender Surveys (GGS) and contextual database, proved popular with researchers at the European Population Conference. Research findings from some 40 studies drawing on GGS data were presented and discussed, including new findings on intergenerational support, determinants of childlessness, marital instability and happiness, as well as the impact of migration on family transitions.

Europe’s largest conference for population research was hosted by Johannes Gutenberg-University in Mainz (31 August- 3 September) and brought together over 900 researchers, academic scholars and policy makers with around 500 papers presented. In line with the conference theme “Demographic Change and Policy Implications”, UNECE presented a paper on its work on monitoring policy responses to population ageing in the UNECE region. Other topics discussed included issues and trends in the composition of families and households, migration and urbanization, mortality and longevity, the life course and policy responses to demographic developments.

Sessions on ageing and intergenerational relations provided new insights into the antecedents of well-being and life satisfaction at older age. The relationship between generations plays a major role for the quality of life of older persons and is the basis for intergenerational solidarity. Using GGP data, one study found that mothers have more contact than fathers with their adult non-coresident child and that this contact is closer with daughters. Other studies confirmed that care for grandchildren positively impacts older persons’well-being and that the benefits of grandparenthood work in both directions: they enhance grandparents’ and grandchildren’s well-being.

The GGP survey covers a broad array of topics including fertility, partnership, the transition to adulthood, economic activity, care duties and attitudes, and therefore allows studying various demographic research questions. It 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://ggp-i.org/.