Previous Editions:
6th International workshop on the Socio-Economics of Ageing (2019).
5th International workshop on the Socio-Economics of Ageing (2017).
4th International workshop on the Socio-Economics of Ageing (2015).
3rd International workshop on the Socio-Economics of Ageing (2013).
2nd International workshop on the Socio-Economics of Ageing (2011).
1st International workshop on the Socio-Economics of Ageing (2009).

KEYNOTE SPEAKER / Professor Emily Grundy

Professor Emily Grundy

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London


Fields of interest

Families, households and kin and social networks in later life, especially in relationship to health, associations between family life courses and health and well-being at older ages, and trends and differentials in later life health, disability and mortality.



PhD Medical Demography, University of London, UK;
MSc Medical Demography, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine;
BA (and MA), King’s College, University of Cambridge.


About Emily Grundy:

“I joined the staff of the School in 1998 when I moved from the Age Concern Institute of Gerontology at King’s College, London, where I had worked for the twelve years, to the Centre for Population Studies at the School. This was something of a homecoming as, like quite a large number of School staff, I am also a former School student. I took the MSc in Medical Demography (now Demography & Health) in 1978-79, my interest in the causes and consequences of population change having been sparked during my first degree in history at Cambridge University, which included the study of historical demography. In between these degrees I worked for a housing association providing sheltered accommodation for older people which, although I didn’t realise it at the time, set me on track for a career most of which has had to do with the study of ageing. When I finished my MSc I did not particularly want an academic career and went to work as a researcher for a deprived inner city area in London. After a couple of years, however, I felt the need for more academic stimulus and moved to a research post in the Department of Health Care of the Elderly at Nottingham University. From Nottingham I moved back to London to work at the Social Statistics Unit in the Mathematics Department at City University. My research there was on life cycle influences on migration and involved using data from the Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study, a unique record linkage study covering 1% of the population of England and Wales. I was able to use this research to gain a PhD as an external student of the University of London, affiliated to the School, and so became a second time alumna. From City I moved to the new Gerontology Institute at King’s.

Most of my research has been, and continues to be, concerned with the demography of ageing, a field which is of increasing importance for public health and policy in the developed world and now a growing proportion of poorer countries as well. I am particularly interested in the determinants, correlates and consequences of the family, household and social support networks of older people and the interaction of these with health. In many developed countries fears about the implications of population ageing have been exacerbated by concerns that family support systems for older people are weakening, both as a result of demographic changes in the ‘supply’ of kin and because of social and attitudinal changes. However, research I have undertaken with a range of collaborators suggests that not all of these assumptions are true. Older people have strong family support systems, which are responsive to changing health needs, and themselves provide a great deal of help to younger relatives. The supply of close kin will in fact increase in the short to medium term (partly because of falls in death rates) and in the UK the proportion of elderly people with at least one surviving child will probably be higher in 2025 than in any preceding generation. However, in some countries there does seem to be a trend towards increased demand for formally provided services rather than family care, a topic I am working on with colleagues from a number of European countries and the USA.

Changes in family patterns have important implications for policy makers and service providers. I am also interested in what consequences they may have for health, for inequalities in health, and in interactions between socio-demographic and socio-economic determinants of health and well being in later life. I am investigating the effects of marital and fertility histories on health and mortality in later life, again in collaboration with colleagues elsewhere. Later life health and circumstances are strongly influenced by their experiences throughout life and to study these we need good longitudinal data. One source I have made a great deal of use of is the ONS Longitudinal Study which now includes information spanning three decades. As leader of the Centre for Longitudinal Study Information and User Support team I am also involved in helping others to use this valuable data set, including staff and students in the School.

One of the reasons I find research on ageing rewarding is that it requires a multidisciplinary approach and poses a range of methodological problems. The School is a good place to work on these types of issues because of the wide ranging skills and interests of the staff and the School’s reputation also helps in communicating research findings to relevant policy audiences.”


Emily teaches on the main term one demography courses, Population Studies (which she organises) and Demographic Methods, and on the Basic Epidemiology and Social Epidemiology courses.


Most of Emily’s research has been focused on ageing. Her main interests in this field are families, households and social support in later life, especially in relationship to health; trends and differentials in health and disability, and the long term consequences of marital and reproductive history for health and social support. Much of Emily’s research has involved analysis of data from the Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study (ONS LS)and she leads the team which provides support to academic users of this resource (CeLSIUS). Emily is involved in several European collaborative projects, as well as collaborative projects elsewhere, and chairs the European Population Association working group on demographic change and the support of older people.


Selected Publications

Grundy, E.; Jitlal, M.; Socio-demographic variations in moves to institutional care 1991-2001: a record linkage study from England and Wales. Age Ageing, 2007; 36(4):424-30

de Souza, E.M.; Grundy, E.; Intergenerational interaction, social capital and health: Results from a randomised controlled trial in Brazil. Soc Sci Med, 2007; 65(7):1397-409

Grundy, E.; Henretta, J.C. Between elderly parents and adult children a new look at the intergenerational care provided by the ‘sandwich generation’ Ageing & Society, 2006; 26:707-722

Tomassini, C.; Grundy, E.; Skytthe, A.; Christensen, K.; Twins and their health cost: consequences of multiple births on parental health and mortality in denmark and England and wales. Twin Res Hum Genet, 2006; 9(3):444-9

Grundy, E. Ageing and vulnerable elderly people: European perspectives Ageing & Society, 2006; 26:105-134

Grundy, E.; Tomassini, C.; Fertility history and health in later life: a record linkage study in England and Wales. Soc Sci Med, 2005; 61(1):217-28

Grundy, E.; Reciprocity in relationships: socio-economic and health influences on intergenerational exchanges between Third Age parents and their adult children in Great Britain. Br J Sociol, 2005; 56(2):233-55

Grundy, E.; Mayer, D.; Young, H.; Sloggett, A.; Living arrangements and place of death of older people with cancer in England and Wales: a record linkage study. Br J Cancer , 2004; 91(5):907-12