Berlin Landscape with the Charité in the background


The Einstein Center Population Diversity (ECPD) – Unfolding unequal life courses within diverse families in aging societies – is an interdisciplinary research hub based in Berlin, Germany. The research is carried out by a consortium of seven partner sites that will study the prerequisites and consequences of increasing population diversity for social inequality and health disparities. The specific focus will be on the growing diversity of families within the context of healthy aging, including changing conceptions and boundaries of the family itself.


Call for Papers: 22nd Conference of the European Divorce Network

The European Divorce Network has been organising annual conferences since 2002. This year’s divorce conference will take place from 10-11th October 2024 in Berlin, Germany, and is organised by the Einstein Center Population Diversity, the Hertie School and the University of Duisburg-Essen. The submission deadline is 15.05.2024 More information about the call for papers and the conference can be found here.

The ECPD has officially launched!

On April 9, 2024, the ECPD officially launched its activities with a kick-off event at the Festsaal of Humboldt University Berlin. The event featured an opening talk by Martin Rennert, Executive Board Chair of the  Einstein Foundation, and marked the beginning of an exciting new chapter in family and health research, as dozens of researchers from the ECPD network came together to celebrate the start of six years of cutting edge family and health research.

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European societies are becoming more heterogeneous and more diverse due to a variety of trends, including population aging, increasing migration flows, as well as a diversification of work, care, and relationship arrangements. In many ways, these trends occur and materialize in families and social relationships, possibly changing the very nature and accepted definitions of what constitutes a ‘family’. Despite a large body of research on the causes and consequences of population aging, we know little about the causes and consequences of family diversity in aging societies, particularly concerning inequalities in health, socioeconomic, and educational outcomes.

Call for Papers for the Divorce Conferende at the Einstein Center Population Diversity (ECPD)

What is Family Diversity?

What does Family Diversity Mean for our Aging Societies?

It is the smallest unit in a society: the family. However, defining the boundaries of this unit can be a subjective task defined by one’s cultural or religious roots, sexual orientation, gender identity, life experience, medical history, and stage in life course. In addition, events like marriage, divorce, pregnancy, care-taking, death, and experiences of migration or collective trauma may further diversify the notion of ‘family’ in today’s crisis-troubled societies.

For aging societies, this diversification could mean two things: either a shift in attitudes, norms, values, and behaviors within the family reduces or increases chances for multi-morbidity in old age. This is not only relevant for access to appropriate care infrastructures within and beyond the family unit, but also in terms of breaking trans-generational bounds of social, educational, and health inequalities that in different but connected ways influence pathways to healthy aging.

Family as a prism

At the ECPD, we understand family as a prism for population diversity. Just as a prism reveals the spectrum of colors within light, studying population diversity through the lens of ‘family’ unveils a range of intersecting inequalities in health and wellbeing, economic status, and education that, understanding a prism also as a system, form highly predictable trajectories for health outcomes within and across generations.

illustration of the theoretical lens of the ECPD, using family diversity as a prism to investigate population diversity

Bridging Research Streams

The ECPD synergizes research streams and aims across two key disciplines: biomedical sciences and social sciences. Through a uniquely symbiotic and strategically aligned collaboration between these two commonly fragmented methodological approaches, the ECPD aims to conceptualize, explore, and put into practice the mechanisms connecting family diversity with health and social inequalities.

the biosocial model of the ECPD, including health inequalities (mental health, care need, physical health), educational inequalities (attainment, achievement) and economic inequalities (wealth, income)


A more nuanced understanding of the drivers and dynamics of population diversity and social inequality is highly essential for evidence-informed decision-making in a considerable number of policy fields. In order to actively contribute evidence-informed policymaking, a further structural component aims to create a transdisciplinary forum with a target group composed of key stakeholders from academia, governance, business, and civil society, based in Berlin and at regional, national, European, and international levels. Key tools for that purpose will be expert meetings and stakeholder workshops to evaluate best practice examples and policies, public events promoting citizens’ engagement, and real-world laboratories.

About the Einstein Foundation Berlin

The ECPD is funded by the Einstein Foundation Berlin, a foundation that aims to promote international cutting-edge research in and for Berlin. It was founded in 2009 by the State of Berlin. The Einstein Foundation is unique in the German funding landscape due to its independent work and its focus on the state of Berlin. It helps to strengthen science as a decisive factor for the future in Berlin, to further expand the science location and to make it more visible.