April 19, 2004 | Press Release

Conference on Contemporary Research on European Fertility: Perspectives and Developments, April 23-24 at the MPIDR Rostock
Researchers are honoring Prof. Jan M. Hoem on the occasion of his 65th birthday

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock will host an international conference on Contemporary Research on European Fertility: Perspectives and Developments. It takes place on Friday and Saturday, April 23-24.

Renowned researchers from Germany and abroad present their research results on European fertility development. They will address above all how important social, economic, cultural, and institutional influences are to fertility - individually and in combination with each other. In addition, the workshop participants will discuss developments in and perspectives of demographic research related to birth and family dynamics in Europe.

Topics include among others:

  • The Development of Fertility in Eastern and Western Germany
  • Growing Up in Europe
  • Value Change and Demographic Developments
  • Migration and Child-Bearing Behavior
  • Step-Families in Europe and the Desire for Children
  • Employment, Education and Childbearing Dynamics in Germany, and Northern and Eastern Europe

Next to researchers from the MPIDR, the speakers' list includes among others Prof. Ron Lesthaege from Brussels, Prof. Francesco Billari from Milan, Prof. Caroline Bledsoe from Illinois, Prof. Elizabeth Thomson from Stockholm and Prof. Øystein Kravdal from Oslo. The conference will be opened by the Founding Director of the Institute, James W. Vaupel.

The conference at the MPIDR will take place on the occasion of Prof. Jan M. Hoem's 65th birthday. He is currently the Executive Director of the Institute and the Head of its Research Program on Fertility and Family Development in Contemporary Europe. Jan Hoem is a Norwegian by birth and a Swede by choice. Trained in actuarial mathematics, he turned to demography early in his academic career. He held research positions in Oslo, Berkeley (California), Madison (Wisconsin) and Stanford (California). After professorships in Copenhagen and Stockholm, he was appointed to the MPIDR in Rostock in 1999. Since 2002 Jan Hoem also has been Honorary Professor of Statistical Demography at the University of Rostock.

The research program, established at the MPIDR under the leadership of Jan Hoem, investigates trends in birth and family developments in today's Europe. The general point of departure is the fact that in all highly developed societies (particularly in Europe) birth rates are falling and new family forms such as out-of-wedlock relationships, single-parent families and step families are becoming increasingly common. Although noticeable regional differences in fertility and family behavior do exist in Europe, e.g., between eastern and western Germany, southern and northern Italy, the individual Scandinavian countries, as well as between northern, central, southern and eastern European countries, there are also some generally valid trends. The research program aims to investigate and explain the forms and course of these developments as well as the decisive factors underlying them.

About the MPIDR

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock investigates the structure and dynamics of populations. The Institute’s researchers explore issues of political relevance, such as demographic change, aging, fertility, and the redistribution of work over the life course, as well as digitization and the use of new data sources for the estimation of migration flows. The MPIDR is one of the largest demographic research bodies in Europe and is a worldwide leader in the study of populations. The Institute is part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research organization.


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The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.