Demographic transition, unbalanced population decline and their influence on social support systems for elderly in the North of the Netherlands

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic


The so called Second Demographic Transition (Lesthaeghe and Van der Kaa, 1986), which surfaced in the sixties of the twentieth century in Western Europe and North America, resulted from a significant change in the pattern of norms and values. This again resulted in delayed fertility, a declining population when there was no replenishment through "replacement migration” and an increasing variety of household structures (with a rising number of one-person households). The rise in life expectancy coupled with a declining fertility, evolved into a gradual ageing of the population.
The concept of ‘unbalanced population decline’ (Van Nimwegen and Heering 2009) enables us, while studying population decline, to take into account different motives underlying the decision to migrate during the life course; young people migrating in search of higher education and job opportunities and elderly clustering in places with a high facility level. This unbalanced population decline is taking place in some rural parts and smaller towns in the Netherlands. Especially the two migration flows mentioned above determine the structure of the population and the possibilities for effective family, kin and other social support systems for the elderly.

Analysis using amongst others recent demographic data from de community of Oldambt (Netherlands)

It will be shown that the effects of the demographic transition in the North of the Netherlands are accelerated because of unbalanced population decline. Furthermore it will be argued that because of this combination in parts of the Northern Netherlands family, kin and social support systems for the elderly are deteriorating more rapidly than in other parts of the county.

Combined effects of demographic transition and unbalanced population decline urge for a reconsideration of the possibilities to rely on family, kin and other social support systems in different regions in the Netherlands.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2018
EventThe 58th ERSA-Congress : Places for People: Innovative, Inclusive and livable Regions - University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
Duration: 28 Aug 201831 Aug 2018


ConferenceThe 58th ERSA-Congress
Abbreviated titleERSA
Internet address


  • demographic transition
  • population decline
  • northern netherlands


Dive into the research topics of 'Demographic transition, unbalanced population decline and their influence on social support systems for elderly in the North of the Netherlands'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this