The Infrastructure is run by leading Social Scientists and National Statistical Offices

Introducing the Generations & Gender Programme

This animated introduction to The Generations & Gender Programme explains the purpose, function and value of a social science research infrastructure to the domains of public policy and research. 

For access to the GGP open source datasets register as a GGP User here.

For questions or inquiries please email GGP@nidi.nl.

Concept/Design/Realisation: RROOK, Utrecht



The Generations and Gender Programme (GGP) is a Social Science Research Infrastructure that provides micro- and macro-level data which significantly improve the knowledge base for social science and policymaking in Europe and developed countries elsewhere.

The Infrastructure is run by institutes with strong traditions in academic and policy-related research on population and family change and on survey methodology.


A Research Infrastructure

Key Features

Cross-national comparability

Up till now, 20 countries have conducted at least one wave of data collection. The comparative focus allows analyses of the ways in which policies, culture and economic circumstances influence dependencies between men and women and between the young and the old.

A longitudinal design

The GGP survey applies a panel design – collecting information on the same persons at three-year intervals – to allow the examination of causes and consequences of inequalities between genders and generations. Twelve countries have thus far conducted at least two waves of the GGP survey.

A large sample size

The GGP survey has an average of 10,000 respondents per country, making it possible to study numerical minorities and uncommon events.

A broad age range

The GGP collects data on the whole life course by interviewing respondents aged 18-79. It also enables analysis of multiple generations by asking extensive questions about intergenerational exchange and support

The combination of micro and macro data

Alongside the micro data collected via surveys, the GGP has a contextual database with over 100 indicators which cover not only the year of the survey but also retrospective indicators covering the past 40 years to be used alongside the retrospective data in the surveys.

A theory-driven and multidisciplinary questionnaire

The GGS questionnaire is developed and maintained by a team of leading social scientists from demography, sociology and economics. The questionnaire seeks to bring together a wide range of subjects that examine the causes and consequences of family change.

We ask people about their relationships, their families and their children and this data together provides hundred’s of thousands of life stories. Taken together these stories weave a patchwork in which we look for patterns and try to understand how these patterns are changing over time and what might be causing them. In this visualization you can watch the lives of 500 people unfold.  Each dot in the animation represents one real person that the GGP interviewed in the country you select from the drop down menu.

At the Age of 15 pretty much everybody is single and doesn’t have any children so they start down in the bottom left hand corner. Then as time passes some find a partner to live with and some even get married. When they do, the little dot that represents them moves up to represent this change in their relationship status. As time passes some people also have children, and to represent this the dot moves to the right for every additional child they have. 

The dots in the visualization are two different colours to represent two groups of people. The green dots are people who were born in 1950. They would have been 17 during the ‘summer of love’ and 35 years old during the ‘Live Aid’ concert in 1985. They are commonly called ‘baby boomers’. The orange dots are people who were born in 1970. They were 19 when the Berlin Wall fell and 30 at the turn of the Millennium. They are generally referred to as ‘Generation X’. These two generations have lived quite different lives, as the visualization shows.

Click ‘Start’ to begin the animation. You can change the country by selecting another one from the drop down list, clicking ‘Update’ and then clicking ‘Start’ again.

The animation uses d3.js, or Data-Driven Documents, created by Mike Bostock. The animation is inspired by the following post of Nathan Yau: http://flowingdata.com/2017/05/17/american-workday/ and developed by Eugenio Paglino & Tom Emery.



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