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    World Population Day – Saturday 11 July

    This Saturday 11 July 2020 marks World Population Day, which seeks to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues.

    UN Secretary-General António Guterres highlights how demography and gerontology are key issues addressed in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development: "The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the world’s blueprint for a better future for all on a healthy planet. On World Population Day, we recognize that this mission is closely interrelated with demographic trends including population growth, ageing, migration and urbanization."

    To mark this year’s World population Day, we are highlighting CPC research which would be useful to plan a better future for a world responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    CPC Director Professor Jane Falkingham OBE comments: “2020 has seen a seismic shift in our way of life, and brought the study of population into the spotlight. It is now more important than ever for social scientists to analyse populations on a local, national and global level. Understanding how we behave and interact with others, our mobility and our family groups is a key component to understanding how Covid-19 has and will continue to affect individuals within the population.”

    She continues: “Where we live, who we care for, and the disproportionate impacts on BAME and other minority groups, are of utmost importance for policy makers to understand, so that they can make the right decisions to protect the most vulnerable in our society. Research conducted by the team at CPC contributes to shining a light on these issues.”

    Read more from Professor Falkingham on ‘Health and societal equity in a time of crisis’ from the latest edition of the CPC newsletter, Changing Populations.

    Researchers from the ESRC Centre for Population Change are experts in their fields. We have been responding to the Covid-19 crisis by highlighting our current research, as well as successfully bidding for new cutting-edge projects. Find out more below:

    COVID-19 deaths by ethnic group, the role of co-morbidities
    Maria Evandrou, Jane Falkingham, Zhixin Feng, and Athina Vlachantoni found that older people from ethnic minorities report poorer health outcomes, even after controlling for social and economic disadvantages. Their paper, 'Ethnic inequalities in limiting health and self-reported health in later life revisited', uses Understanding Society data to shed light on a relatively under-researched area by exploring self-reported health in persons aged 60 years and over.
    Caring in the time of Covid-19
    CPC research has found that becoming an unpaid carer for family or friends can be damaging to employment and earnings. What does the Covid-19 pandemic and the country’s uncertain periods of lockdown mean for unpaid carers? Athina Vlachantoni, Zhixin Frank Feng, Ning Wang, Maria Evandrou and Jane Falkingham, found that informal carers often face precarious situations when it comes to employment and being financially stable.
    CPC policy Briefing 52: Older and home alone in lockdown: how has support from family, friends and neighbours changed?
    This paper from Maria Evandrou, Jane Falkingham, Min Qin and Athina Vlachantoni provides the first insight into the receipt of help and support amongst older people aged 70 and over during the first four weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown when this group had been explicitly advised to stay at home and minimise contact with others.

    CPC Policy Briefing 54: How has the Covid-19 crisis impacted parents’ relationships with their children?
    While the Covid-19 crisis may have created unprecedented challenges for parents and children, it appears to have strengthened relationships for many families. Brienna Perelli-Harris and Sandra Walzenbach use data from Understanding Society surveys to analyse the views of over 5,500 parents.
    Covid-19 spells trouble for millions of couples as study finds unemployment damages relationships
    Spells of unemployment can damage romantic relationships in both the short- and long- term, and are particularly disruptive for women, a recent study from Brienna Perelli-Harris and Niels Blom has found.
    Does our household type put us at more risk from the effects of Covid-19?
    Access to outdoor space, overcrowding, precarious finances and insecure employment are all factors which can cause households to be more vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19. New research by CPC members Julia Mikolai, Katherine Keenan and Hill Kulu, at the Population and Health Research Group at University of St Andrews, found that certain types of households were particularly at risk of both short and long-term socio-economic or health problems which could be made worse by the virus.

    CPC helps launch weekly COVID-19 saliva sampling test across Southampton
    A team from the University of Southampton, including Jane Falkingham, take a leading role in a newly-launched programme to evaluate regular COVID-19 infection testing for whole households.
    CPC Policy Briefing 53: Empowering the NHS: Challenges for the pandemic
    In light of the Covid-19 outbreak and the increased pressure on the National Health Service (NHS), this briefing reflects on the UK’s preparedness for such a pandemic. Armine Ghazaryan, Corrado Giulietti and Jackline Wahba ask whether the NHS has been equipped to save lives. Have the Brexit referendum and recent austerity impeded investment in the NHS?
    More than 5% of Britons have had Covid-19
    Between 5-6% of Britain’s population had been infected with Covid-19 by the last third of April, according to a study from the University of St Andrews. Research by Professor Hill Kulu and Peter Dorey from the ESRC Centre for Population Change and School of Geography and Sustainable Development, found that England had higher infection rates than Scotland and Wales. In London, more than 10% of the population may have been infected. Overall, infection rates were highest in urban regions and lowest in small towns and rural areas.
    Remote and rural communities could be hit hardest by Covid-19
    Death rates from Covid-19 could be between 50% and 80% higher in rural communities and remote small towns, according to a study by CPC members at the University of St Andrews.
    The study by Hill Kulu and Peter Dorey investigates the contribution of population age structure to mortality from Covid-19 in the UK by geographical units.
    The global battle against coronavirus
    CPC Associate, Sabu Padmadas, has been monitoring the global response to Covid-19 in his role as Founding Co-Director of The India Centre for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development at the University of Southampton.

    For some more in-depth articles on research CPC findings, events and publications, read our latest newsletter Changing Populations.

    Circumstances are, of course, changing very quickly at the moment so, to keep you updated on our latest Covid-19 research and responses, we have created a dedicated section on the CPC website.

    To find out more about World Population Day 2020, visit the UN website or join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook #WPD2020.

    Image credit: istock/VLIET

    Posted 25/06/2020 10:16