Welcome to visit our comparative study of life course and family dynamics!


 Important social changes are taking place in both China and Europe. They present the two regions with some common challenges, including rising economic inequality, heightened migration, regional imbalance and population ageing.


What are the implications of these social changes for the life course of individuals and families? China and Europe do have different histories, social institutions and cultural traditions. Do they create different kinds of risks, vulnerabilities and opportunities for their citizens? What can Chinese and European scholars, policy-makers and other stakeholders learn from each other’s experiences as they formulate policy responses to the common challenges confronting them?


In this project, we use recent high quality, large-scale and nationally representative household survey data to explore the experience of individuals and families in China, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. Moreover, because all respondents of these surveys have been followed through the years and were interviewed multiple times, we gain a deeper insight into how their experiences change over time.


We focus on the key issues that confront people at four stages of their life:

(1)    Child development and schooling,

(2)    Transition into adulthood,

(3)    Security and well-being in middle life,

(4)    Intergeneration support and well-being in later life.


This project will produce harmonized and fully documented data sets which will be deposited in an international data archive. This will become a key international data resource for scholars and policy-makers who wish to understand the changing population and family dynamics in China and Europe.


In addition, a number of doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars will receive training in this project. These junior scholar as well as the senior scholars of this project will work closely together, fostering Chinese and European collaboration in research on understanding population change.