Contemporary Demographic Development: Trends, Factors, and Policy Responses (1.01.2024−31.12.2028)

This project is a study of contemporary demographic development with focuses on fertility and ageing. It contributes to an improved understanding of population dynamics in advanced societies by investigating factors that are associated with changes in these processes or modulate their impact on society, and by examining policies that aim to influence fertility and adapt to population ageing. The project combines comparative and single-country perspectives. The planned research is grouped into five work packages focussing on gender roles and work-family balance, the role of housing and earnings on fertility, the impact of family policy measures, health of older people, pension reforms, and material well-being of the elderly. The selection of analyses is guided by three criteria: scientific innovation, feasibility, and policy relevance. The project draws on major comparative surveys (GGS, SHARE, and EU-SILC) and research datasets based on administrative registers.

New perspectives on long-run changes in demographic modernisation in Estonia (2021–2025)

This project seeks to provide a deeper understanding of the dynamics and mechanisms of demographic modernisation in Estonia in the context of broader social, economic and cultural change. The objective is to investigate the patterns and determinants of long-term change in fertility, mortality and nuptiality, and examine how improvements in social welfare, as well as other profound political and economic shifts that transformed Estonian society in the 19th and early 20th centuries influenced demographic behaviour. The project draws both on available and newly constructed individual-level data sources (family reconstitution dataset for Helme and Paistu parish 1834–1917, the Estonian Family Register 1926–1944) and state-of-the-art methodological approaches to answer central questions about the nature of demographic modernisation in Estonia.

Contemporary demographic developments in Estonia: In search of pathways towards a more sustainable society (2018 - 2022)

This is a study of contemporary demographic developments in Estonia with a focus on sub-replacement fertility and population ageing. The general objective of the project is to gain an improved understanding of the trends in and patterns of the respective processes in Estonia since the beginning of the 21st century, viewed against the backdrop of concurrent developments in other European countries. In order to provide insight into the mechanisms underlying the observed patterns, the project would pay systematic attention to the experience of sub-populations as shaped by the interplay of individual and contextual factors. The project would draw on newly constructed longitudinal datasets based on administrative registers and comparative surveys (SHARE, EU-SILC, GGS). Evidence obtained from the project would be expected to enhance the knowledge base for policies aimed at supporting societal sustainability.


Early demographic modernisation in Estonia: a micro-level study of nineteenth-century rural and urban settings (2017 – 2020)

The existing knowledge about demographic modernisation in Estonia is based on aggregate-level analyses. This project seeks to overcome these limitations. The objective is to investigate demographic modernisation in Estonia in the 19th century, in the context of a more comprehensive societal change (transfer to money rents, sales of farmland to peasants, deepening of the divides among social strata), employing newly developed longitudinal micro-data (Helme Parish 1834–95, Tartu 1850–1900). The connections between various developmental processes would be established from the analysis of social group differentials in demographic outcomes (survival, reproduction, nuptiality), by means of event history modelling. We hypothesise that the early decline in fertility in Estonia was driven by complementary mechanisms, which affected the higher and lower social strata in varying degrees. The project seeks to consolidate the work of younger researchers studying historical demography in Estonia.