Annual Meeting 2024 in Hamburg

Demographic Development in the Nordic Countries and Germany

Annual Meeting of the DGD – 20. – 22. March 2024 at the University of Hamburg

In Cooperation with the Demographic Societies of the Nordic Countries


With support from the University of Hamburg

Universität Hamburg - der Forschung, der Lehre, der Bildung, zur Homepage


The German Society for Demography (DGD) is proud to announce that its annual conference in 2024 will be held in cooperation with the demographic societies of the Nordic countries and take place from 20-22 March 2024 at the University of Hamburg. The conference will host a wide range of thematic sessions on the „Demographic Development in the Nordic Countries and Germany“ (see Call for Papers below for planned sessions) and conclude with a moderated panel discussion on „Political Best Practice and Demographic Normality. Lessons for Germany from the Nordic Countries“. Participants are invited to attend the conference dinner at the restaurant „Parlament“ on 21 March 2024. We hope to meet you in Hamburg.

Submissions to the sessions and poster session are welcome (see below), the deadline has been extended until 8 December 2023.

The conference will feature the following keynote addresses:

    • Stefanie Kley (local host, Germany): Migration, Spatial Mobility and the Ecological Question
    • Cosmo Strozza (Denmark): Challenges to the Implementation of Indexation of Retirement Age: Lessons Learned from Denmark
    • Mika Gissler (Finland): How Covid Pandemic Affected Mortality Rates in Nordic Countries and Germany?
    • Rannveig Hart (Norway): Fertility and Policy in Germany and the Nordics
    • Jonas Helgertz (Sweden): Using Methods of Machine Learning to Create Databases for (Historical) Demographic Research

The conference will be held in English and in a hybrid format, offering on site and virtual participation (please refer to the conference administration website for terms and conditions of participation and prices – early bird booking (with discount)/free cancallation is available until 20 February 2024, regular registration will close on 11 March 2024).

For details on travel, accomodation and the conference venue see here.

During the conference the general meeting of the DGD will take place (in German, for members only).

Call for Papers

For submitting an abstract for a presentation (300 words) or poster (150 words) please register and log in to the conference administration website (here).

Deadline for submissions has been extended until 8 December 2023

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1.1-1.3 Population change in the Nordic countries and Germany - Trends and spatial patterns
Session Chair: Bernhard Köppen (Koblenz)

In a comparative perspective, Nordic Countries and Germany differ in multiple ways: the size of the countries and number of population as well as density and the share of urban versus rural areas or spatial distribution of urban centres are obvious examples. They also differ in their economic and social conditions as well as politics and policies relevant to demographic trends. However, also similar (or seemingly similar?) trends occur between the Nordic countries and Germany. For this session papers on the macro level, investigating historic or current trends in population change, for a single country or in a comparative setting, are invited. Furthermore, regional demographic chances and spatial patterns are not only of academic interest, but also bear relevant information for regional policy and planning. Thus, presentations on demographic trends revealing specific spatial patterns or geography-bound changes related to population are also invited to discuss the presented findings with a comparative perspective in mind.
2.1 Fertility and (diverse) families in Central and Northern Europe
Session Chairs:

Kateryna Golovina (Helsinki)
Rannveig Hart (Oslo)
Anne-Kristin Kuhnt (Rostock)

Over the last 30 decades, European fertility moved toward a new pattern where most women have fewer than two children, and childlessness is increasingly common. Moreover, family patterns and the ways families are created have become more complex in recent European Societies. With our working group "Fertility and Family," we want to shed light on these changes and invite presentations from demographers, sociologists, and related disciplines on the following topics:
•Recent trends in cohort and period fertility.
•Comparative analyses between Central and Northern Europe or other global regions – including country-specific regional differences.
•Fertility variation across different populations or subpopulations.
•(Social structural) determinants of family formation over the life course.
•Childlessness and infertility.
•Family diversity.
2.2 Trends in divorce and union dissolution in Central and Northern Europe
Session Chairs:

Peter Fallesen (Copenhagen)
Sabine Diabaté (Wiesbaden)

Over the past decades, the traditional constructs of marriage are now navigating through the currents of individualism, economic dynamics, and changing gender roles. Cohabitation has become an alternative to marriage, altering the landscape of partnerships, commitments, and potential dissolution. Consequently, the region's demography transforms as marriage and family structures evolve. We endeavor to unravel the multifaceted tapestry of divorce and union dissolution trends in Central and Northern Europe. Therefore, we invite presentations from demographers, sociologists, and other disciplines on the following aspects:
•Changing patterns: Analyzing shifts in divorce rates, marriage duration, and cohabitation trends across different countries in the region.
•Socioeconomic influences: Investigating the impact of economic factors, education, and employment on divorce and separation decisions.
•Legal and policy dynamics: Exploring the role of legal frameworks, policies, and family law reforms in shaping divorce patterns.
•Intersections with parenthood: understanding how parenting, custody arrangements, and child support impact the decision to dissolve unions.
•Psychological and emotional dimensions: Examining the emotional toll, well-being, and coping strategies of individuals experiencing divorce.
•Cultural and religious factors: Investigating how cultural norms and beliefs influence divorce and separation attitudes.
•Comparative analyses: Contrasting divorce trends and outcomes between Central and Northern Europe and other global regions.
2.3 Recent trends in fertility in Nordic Countries and Germany
Session Chairs:

Jessica Nisén (Turku)
Aiva Jasilioniene (Rostock)

The last two decades have been characterized by different trends in period fertility in the Nordic countries and Germany. In the first decade of the century, the total fertility rate (TFR) was relatively stable in Germany and mainly on the increase in the Nordic countries. These trends reversed in the second decade: period TFR declined strongly in the 2010s in Finland, Iceland and Norway, and moderately in Sweden and Denmark. In Germany, the second decade was characterized by increase and stability. In 2020, the lowest TFR among these countries was recorded in Finland (1.37), TFRs in Germany (1.53) and Norway (1.48) were at a similar level, while TFRs in the other Nordic countries remained at a higher level (1-68-1.72). Fertility did not decline in any of these countries in response to the early Covid-19 pandemic, but there were declines in 2022. The session intends to discuss these recent and ongoing fertility trends, their underlying drivers and theoretical explanations, as well as their relation to and repercussions for cohort fertility. We particularly welcome insights on recent period and cohort fertility trends in these countries by parity, age group, socio-economic group, region of living, and migrant (vs. native) status. The session is also open to insights on recent fertility trends in other countries.
3.1 How covid pandemic affected mortality rates in Nordic Countries and Germany?
Session Chairs:

Mika Gissler (Helsinki)
Jonas Schöley (Rostock)

The full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been much greater than what is indicated by reported deaths due to COVID-19 alone. During the whole pandemic, Denmark and Sweden have reported more deaths per capita (more than 200/100 000) than Finland and Denmark (150-190/100 000) or Norway and Iceland (below 110/100 000). However, the comparability of these figures has been questioned.
Further research is warranted to help distinguish the proportion of mortality that was directly or indirectly caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection. Also studies on the changes in the distribution of causes of death as an indirect consequence of the pandemic as well studies on excess mortality and its components are required.
This session welcomes contributions in the following domains:
•Trends: Contributions describing trends in life expectancies, COVID-19 deaths and distributions of causes-of-deaths during different phases of the pandemic and their associations to different countermeasures in Germany and the Nordic countries.
•COVID-19 and excess mortality differences and between population groups: Contributions investigating the mortality and its causes between (vulnerable) population groups.
•Methods: Contributions that aim to explore different measurements of life expectancies, COVID-19 deaths and excess mortality, including also future trajectories and scenarios in population statistics.
3.2 The impact of sickness and health on family members in young families
Session Chairs:

Jonathan Wörn (Oslo)
Lara Bister (Groningen)

Severe sickness of a person can have a strong impact on the situation of their family members. While this is well-known in the context of older family members with care needs, this session focuses on the situation in young families, where parents live together with their minor children.
When a child or parent falls sick, both family members of the other generation (i.e., parents or children) and those of the same generation (i.e., siblings or partners) might be affected. The short- and long-term consequences might affect their family members’ education, employment, health, and other domains of life. This session welcomes contributions in three domains:
•Associations and Causality: Contributions describing associations between the sickness of a person and short- or long-term implications for their family members. We also welcome research efforts aimed at distinguishing causal relationships from mere correlations.
•Vulnerability and Resilience: Contributions examining factors that make families vulnerable or resilient to the experience of living with a family member that turns sick. We welcome contributions that tap into effect heterogeneities along sociodemographic dimensions, family characteristics, psychological factors, and other aspects.
•Impact Pathways: Contributions that aim to identify pathways through which the sickness of a family member affects their family members’ outcomes.
The session welcomes contributions regardless of the specific type of illness or disability under scrutiny, including congenital disorders, mental health issues, substance abuse problems, accidents, and other health problems.
3.3 Social inequalities in morbidity and mortality in a comparative perspective
Session Chairs:

Cosmo Strozza (Odense)
Daniela Georges (Rostock)
Mojgan Padyab (Umea)

Social inequalities contribute to significant differences in the risk and the course of diseases and disabilities, as well as mortality, thus representing a major public health concern. Social inequalities in morbidity, disability, and mortality persist in high-income countries, with considerable variations across and within countries, and over time. The underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood, and the ongoing developments, including those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, highlight the complex and dynamic nature of health disparities.
This session will focus on the social determinants of health, their regional variations, and temporal trends. We welcome submissions exploring various health outcomes (e.g., physical health, psychological health, wellbeing/subjective health, morbidity, (healthy) life expectancy), and different social determinants (e.g., socioeconomic status, sex/gender, regional factors), with comparative perspectives (e.g., within countries, across countries, time trends).
Papers focusing on the following topics are welcome:
•The impact of social inequalities on morbidity and mortality
•Regional variations in morbidity and mortality within and across Germany and the Nordic countries
•Trends in (healthy) life expectancy across and within countries
•Contributions to the advancement of (healthy) life expectancy
•Trends and patterns in causes of death
4.1 European Perspectives on migration (invited speakers)
Session Chair: Sonja Haug (Regensburg)

•Frank Heins, Stefano degli Uberti (Italy): Drivers of international migration (Confirmed)
•Bernd Parusel (Sweden): The Ukrainian Refugee Situation: Lessons for EU Asylum Policy (confirmed)
•Izabela Grabowska (Poland): An Assessment of Human Resources of Ukrainian Labour and Forced Migrants in Poland (Confirmed, online-presentation)
•N.N., N.N.
4.2 New Perspectives and Methodological Innovations in Migration and Integration Studies
Session Chairs:

Susanne Schmid (München)
Eleonora Mussino (Stockholm Friday)
Haodong Qi (Malmö)

We welcome contributions on the data situation and the state of integration in Europe in various dimensions, for example in the labour market or the situation of migrant families. The aim here is to look at cross-country comparative analyses.
We welcome paper submissions that are related to migration and integration including, but not limited to:
•The drivers of international migration
•Determinants of immobility
•Migration and ageing
•Non-traditional and large-scale data for migration research
•Policy and governance
•Data privacy and ethical considerations.
We welcome theoretical, methodological, and empirical contributions from all disciplines. We also encourage participation from the stakeholder community, including governments, civil society organizations, the private sector, international and regional agencies, and professional bodies.
5.1 Demographic Data and Methods for Western and Northern Europe
Session Chairs:

Gabriele Doblhammer (Rostock)
Patrizio Vanella (Göttingen)
Nico Keilman (Oslo)

The DGD working group on “Demographic Methods” invites submissions for presentations at the joint meeting of the DGD with the Nordic demographic societies that revolve around methodological advances in demography, with a special focus on the conference topic. Contributions that present established or new demographic data for Western or Northern European countries or sub-national regions are especially welcome. We invite submissions that revolve around methodological approaches or statistical analysis estimating demographic data (including approaches for data linkage) or computing forecasts, particularly for the named regions. International or interregional comparative contributions are especially encouraged. The topic of the call is very flexible, spanning theoretical approaches or more practical applications, such as fertility and family research, migration, morbidity and mortality, or labor market and other economic topics. However, submissions are not restricted to the conference topic. We are open to other submissions on demographic or epidemiological data or methods as well.
We look forward to your submissions!
5.2 New challenges and opportunities in register data research
Session Chairs:

Mojgan Padyab (Umea)
Olga Pötzsch (Wiesbaden)
Silvia Rizzi (Odense)

The need for population statistics is changing significantly. This underscores the importance of national-level data for both research and policy interventions. Researchers require more frequent and timely data as well as results that provide detailed breakdown. The utilization of national register data in population studies is increasingly prominent, particularly within Nordic countries. Germany is still in the process of setting up the statistical register. In the session “Register-based research” at the joint meeting of the DGD with the Nordic demographic societies, we welcome contributions that present the opportunities and challenges in setting up and maintaining registers as well as using registry-based data in any field of demography (e.g., fecundity, fertility, family, migration, morbidity, and mortality).
The aim is to
•illustrate the use of register data in demographic research and show which demographic questions register data can answer.
•describe the variety of options for using administrative data.
•show opportunities and challenges that have been established from the use of register data in demography.
•bring together experiences and best practices.
6.1 Pension Reforms in the Nordic Countries and Germany
Session Chairs:

Philipp Deschermeier (Köln)
Christina Wilke (Bremen)

As a part of the Annual Conference, the Working Group “Demographic and Social Developments” invites contributions for a special session on “Pension Reforms in the Nordic Countries and Germany”. Contributions may address any of the following themes or pursue similar relevant research questions in this field:
•Sustainability of public pension systems.
•Reform effects of selected public pension reform measures.
•Pension system projections.
•Importance and institutional settings of occupational and/ or private pension schemes (e.g. Opting-in/ Opting-out rules etc.).
•Importance and institutional settings of additional private pension schemes.
•Analyses of the overall public-private policy mix.
•Country comparisons.
•Old-age poverty in Europe.
6.2 Family policies, fertility and health in Germany and the Nordic countries.
Session Chairs:

Rannveig Hart (Oslo)
Patrizio Vanella (Göttingen)

Both the Nordic countries and, later, Germany have developed an extensive set of polices targeted towards families. These policies have consequences both for childbearing, and for the health and wellbeing of families. This session welcome contributions that describe the family polices from multiple angles:
•Contributions that describe the use of family policies, including characteristics related to uptake, how uptake relates to subsequent health and family outcomes.
•Contributions that aim to identify causal effects of family policies on health and/or fertility, using quasi-experimental or experimental approaches.
•Contributions that asses the process of policy making, deliberation and aims of policies, using e.g. document analysis, interviews and focus groups or other adequate research designs.
Panel: Political best practice and demographic normality. Lessons for Germany from the Nordic countries
The Nordic welfare states were considered a model case in terms of demographic policy for a long time. However, this positive perception has lessened in recent years due to falling birth rates and growing disparities in life expectancy. In this panel discussion, we would like to discuss with leading experts from research and practitioners which changes are emerging in the population trends of recent years, take stock of this development and deliberate on possible demographic policy conclusions.

Moderation: Andreas Edel, Population Europe / Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

•Prof. Dr. Annette Baudisch, University of Southern Denmark, Interdisciplinary Centre on Population Dynamics (CPop)
•Prof. emer. Dr. Gerda Neyer, Stockholm University Demography Unit (SUDA)
•Prof. Anna Rotkirch, Väestöliitto, Population Research Institute, Helsinki
•Vegard Skirbekk, Norwegian Institute of Public Health and Columbia University (tbc)
•N.N., Council of the Baltic Sea States, Stockholm