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Population change and housing across the lifecourse: Demographic perspectives, methodological challenges and emerging issues

Research output: ResearchWorking paper


The aim of this working paper is to promote dialogue between population researchers and housing researchers. We explore the complex inter-relationships between population change and the housing system, highlighting demographic perspectives and methodological issues. We draw on previous work and published data to consider age-related household trends and housing demand, and argue that an understanding of the dynamics of change must consider both period and cohort effects. We discuss the implications of de-standardised, or fluid, life courses and critically evaluate the potential of sequence analysis as a method for capturing heterogeneity and informing predictions of future housing demand. We also argue that more could be done to extend socio-spatial understandings of residential mobility as ‘the engine of the housing market’ (Clark 2012a). In the final section, we consider two emerging issues – intergenerational equity and socio-spatial age segregation – to illustrate our arguments. We conclude by identifying questions for further discussion, which we hope will contribute to the development of a more integrated agenda for future research.


Original languageEnglish
PublisherESRC Centre for Population Change
Number of pages41
StatePublished - 2015

Publication series

NameWorking Paper Series
PublisherESRC Centre for Population Change
ISSN (Print)2042-4116

    Research areas

  • Population change, Housing system, Life course, Sequence analysis, Socio-spatial dynamics

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