Population Ageing

Coordinator : Prof. Dr. Ive Marx


The ageing population is a research theme that has been taken up more recently in the research agenda of the Centre for Social Policy. For a few years now the Centre strives to develop a deepening and broadening of its research on the issue as well as to develop and refine research instruments and methods that would allow to analyse data on the ageing population in a dynamic perspective. Additionally, the Centre searches for possibilities to test policy alternatives on economic and social adequacy criteria. The Centre’s expertise in this field has been supported by its coordinating role in the development of a strong interdisciplinary knowledge platform around the ageing population (COVIVE - 2009), as well as by its contribution to the SHARE database and network.



SHARE-Belgium – Fourth Wave


Duration: 01/10/2010 – 31/03/2012
Funding: Federal Science Policy
Promoter: Karel Van den Bosch
Researcher: Aaron Van den Heede


SHARE, the Survey on Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, is an infrastructure of micro-level data which offers researchers an opportunity to study the risks (and opportunities) of ageing societies. SHARE is unique in that it is a multidisciplinary database of micro data on health, socio-economic status and social and family networks of more than 40,000 individuals aged 50 or over which is crucial for empirical research in many disciplines: demography, economy, epidemiology, gerontology, biology, medicine, psychology, health studies, social policy, sociology and statistics. The baseline data of respondents 50-and-over were collected in 2004 in 11 European countries: Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Italy and Greece. In Belgium, SHARE is coordinated by a cooperation between Sergio Perelman (CREPP, Ulg) for the Walloon region, and Karel Van den Bosch (CSB, UA) for Flanders.



Poverty and income inequality among the aged, and poverty and labour market participation among parents and children.


Duration: 01/10/2007 – 30/09/2010
Funding: Special research Fund, Antwerp University
Promoter(s): Karel Van den Bosch


This project revolved around pensions and the income position of elderly in Belgium and the EU, now and in the future. The societal context of an ageing population, mobility and migration (from outside the EU), etc. hold a challenge to keep the pension system payable and legitimate, without having to face an increase in poverty amongst the elderly. The scientific challenge lies in finding a better understanding of the effect of the welfare state on people’s actual income and prosperity, with specific attention for inequalities in income distribution. The project focused on: 1) poverty and inequality of the elderly – here we sought a better understanding of which pension systems, with which characteristics, in which socio-economic circumstances effectively offer protection against poverty and low income amongst the elderly; 2) poverty and labour market participation of parents and children – here we developed a better understanding of the relationship between social policy, family formation, labour market behaviour, disposable income and the risk of poverty for families with children.



Moratorium on residential care for the elderly


Duration: 01/09/2010 – 31/10/2011
Funding: Belgian Health Care Knowledge Centre
Promoters: Jef Breda & Ive Marx
Researcher: Stephanie Peeters


The aim of the research proposal was to develop a projection model of the number of patients in residential care in Belgium by 2025, building on state-of-the-art long-term care (LTC) projection methodology. Although the study concentrated on projections of residential home care, it also examined demand for and use of home (nursing) care, as it is a potential substitute for residential care.



Care at home for vulnerable persons in Germany, Belgium, the U.K. and Italy: a comparison of care regimes in a context of fundamental changes - CROME


Duration: 17/12/2009 – 16/06/2012
Funding: French Community of Belgium
Promoters: Jef Breda & Ive Marx
Researcher: Stephanie Peeters


At the request of the Ministry of Social Affairs of the French Community the CROME project analysed the development of home care policy in four core Western European countries (Belgium, Germany, the U.K. and Italy). In 2011 the final report contained six contributions. The Centre’s contribution was entitled “Multilevel governance of long term care: does it induce lower coverage rates?”. Other contributions dealt with variations in government funding, the role of the market, varying combinations of formal and informal care, gender-issues in home care and variations in the performance of diverse home care systems. The contributions are published in a special issue of “Ageing and Society”.


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