Mapping birth rates through surveying family-friendly municipalities

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The European Network of Family Friendly Municipalities is asking for feedback from cities as part of a project to map birth trends.

In what is their second annual survey on family policies, the network is asking members for information on what key policies they have in place and services they provide.

Between 15 March and 15 April, the network wants the leaders of its member towns and cities to give their feedback on these five issues: environment and quality of life; communication; governance; and economic measures.

The survey is based on a similar model employed by the Italian municipality of Trento’s Agency of Social Cohesion, Family and Natality (birth rates), which collects family plans put in place by Italy’s ‘family friendly’ municipalities.

Provide a picture of what is ‘family friendly’

By collecting additional data and information about such policies, says the network, the aim is to ‘provide a picture of what is “family friendly” and how municipalities are developing their offers for families’.

“Year by year, the survey will allow us to see how “family-friendliness” is spreading in Europe and through which policies. In the meanwhile we will collect new ideas and good practices according to the new needs of families,” it adds.

Regina Maroncelli, coordinator of the European Network of Family Friendly Municipalities, and also President of the European Large Families Confederation said they wanted to track the demographic trends of municipalities too verify if there is a positive relation between family policies and natality.

“Marriages, divorces and large families are all important predictors of natality,” she said. “The survey is a precious tool for us and for researchers, but also for the municipalities. The cities have to regularly check their activities and improvements, see what is missing and introduce new policies, so as to redirect their efforts where it is most needed and be always closer to their families”.

The survey is a precious tool for us

It follows a survey last year, in which 13 municipalities from six countries took part. They were Lisboa (Portugal); Pergine Valsugana (Italy); Budapest District XVIII (Hungary); Penafiel (Portugal); Warsaw (Poland); Edessa (Greece); Kracow (Poland); Alghero (Italy); Pieve Tesino (Italy); Carisolo (Italy); Castelldefels (Spain); Braga (Portugal) and Trzembica (Poland).

Among the most popular policies, those in place across more than three quarters of the cities questioned, were school support, summer camps, training activities for young people and parks and gardens with child-friendly facilities.

The results of both surveys will be factored into who is chosen as ‘Family Friendly Municipality of the Year’, to be announced at the network’s congress in November.

Click here for more information.

Author: Simon Weedy

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