Life course and economic implications of demographic change (LIFECON)

The project provides a broad understanding of the causes, consequences and solutions relating to population ageing, which is causing sustainability problems for the welfare state. It focuses on various phases of the individual life course, including family formation, working life, and health and care at the end of life. It also addresses on the implications of demographic changes for the macroeconomy and public finances.




The aims of the LIFECON-project are to

  • understand how demographic changes are present at different phases of the life course
  • understand the implications of demographic changes for the macroeconomy and public finances to find ways in which to increase the sustainability of the welfare state
  • provide decision makers and experts information on the causes, consequences and solutions related to the changing structures of the Finnish population


The key demographic challenges relate to population ageing and subsequent sustainability problems for the welfare state in many counties including Finland. A reduced fertility rate leads to lower future labour supply and tax revenues. The sustainability of the welfare state is partly dependent on the extent to which working lives can be prolonged and the need for health and old-age services reduced or postponed.

In addition to public finances, the challenges and their solutions broadly concern sociodemographic factors, health, the labour market, and the macroeconomy, thereby having a strong effect on the welfare of citizens.


The project consortium includes the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Etla Economic Research and the University of Helsinki. Moreover, various interaction partners from key societal domains are involved in the project.


The project consists of interconnected work packages (WP 1-5, see the figure below). Wellbeing, including individual, societal and intergenerational wellbeing, is an important cross-cutting theme in the WPs. Other cross-cutting themes include age, gender, socioeconomic factors, migration, regionality, health, the interplay between micro-, meso- and macro-level factors, as well as intra- and intergenerational connectedness.


A multidisciplinary research approach is adopted, covering the fields of demography, economics, sociology, social psychology, public health research, applied mathematics, work and organisational psychology, and history.

We utilise nationwide register datasets as well as meso- and macro-level data on various elements affecting population structure. The available long-term information on past trends will allow, to some extent, projections into the future.

Furthermore, we will apply statistical methods to rigorously address the causality of the associations. We perform macro-level policy analysis using a numerical overlapping generations model FOG, which describes the interactions of the future developments in the Finnish population, the economy, and the institutions of the welfare state.

Results and publications of the project will be included on this page when available.

Ask about the project

Taina Leinonen

Taina Leinonen

Principal Investigator

Taina.Leinonen [at]
+358 30 474 2030