This project is made possible thanks to the richness of existing data sources in Belgium. The CausIneq-project is a great opportunity to explore and analyse four highly relevant and rich datasets from a innovative perspective and increases the scientific value of the datasets. WP1, WP2 and WP3 are based on exhaustive datasets including all persons residing in the country at baseline and allowing for very detailed analyses of mortality. To our knowledge, only the Nordic countries dispose of equally comprehensive data on a nationwide scale.
At the end of the nineties, Interface Demography has created – in cooperation with Statistics Belgium – the National Mortality Database. This database originally consisted of a linkage between the Belgian census of 1991 and register data on emigration and mortality for the period 1991-1996. In a first stage, a direct link between the 1991 census and register data of all deaths and emigrations in the period from 1 March 1991 to 1 March 1996 was established. In a second stage, cause-specific mortality data for the years 1991-1995 were added using anonymous individual linkage with death certificates.

In recent years, the 2001 census was integrated into the dataset and register data of all deaths and emigrations in the period from 1 October 2001 to 1 January 2010 were added. The database was furthermore extended with cause-specific mortality for the period 2004-2005 on a nationwide scale. Recently, the data have been expanded with Flemish and Brussels’ cause-specific mortality data for the period 2001-2010. For the Walloon Region, the data cover the period 2004-2005, but in a couple of months information will be available for the period 2001-2010.

To investigate the evolution of inequalities since the 1970s, the census of 1970 and 1981 will – as part of this project – be linked to register mortality data for the period 1970-1975 and 1981-1986. It is important to underline that the censuses of 1991 and 2001 are linked to one another and that the data contain continuous register information on marital status, from 1991 on.

WP2 will also use the longitudinal data of the Crossroads Bank for Social Security (CBSS). The CBSS contains detailed information on unemployment variables and gives the opportunity to fine tune the employment indicators available in the censuses (in terms of duration of unemployment and employment trajectories). The CBSS data will be obtained after endorsement of the Privacy Commission. Depending on their assessment, i) an exhaustive dataset will be used rather than a sample of the total population and ii) information will be added on the causes of death. These data need to be paid for, the cost is now estimated at 6,000 euro.

WP4 will use cross-sectional surveys containing sufficient observations to allow detailed stratified analyses. Two complementary surveys will be used – the EU Labour Force Survey (2012) and the Generations and Gender Programme (2008-2010):

(a) The EU Labour Force Survey (2012) is a continuous quarterly survey of private households and provides data on employment, unemployment and inactivity. The survey is organised by Statistics Belgium in collaboration with Eurostat and participation is compulsory. The large (90,000 respondents annually) and representative samples of the working aged population (people aged 15 and over) make this internationally recognised survey an extremely valuable tool. Information is provided on a large number of demographic and SE characteristics (education, occupational class, welfare remittances, gender, age, nationality, etc.), on employment characteristics (employment status, type of contract, income, underemployment, working hours, dual job holding, etc.), on family situation and on health outcomes (long-standing conditions and disabilities and the incapacity to work). The data are available for scientific research purposes, upon request.
(b) The Generations and Gender Programme (2008-2010) was launched by the United Nations in 2000 and has been implemented in several countries. The GGP survey is designed as a longitudinal survey with at least three data collection waves and an interval of three years between waves. The population is defined as the non-institutionalised population aged 18-79 at the time of the first wave. 7,171 respondents participated in the first wave of the survey. While the number of respondents in the GGP survey is lower, this survey has the important advantage of allowing investigating crosscutting relationships between employment and the wider social situation. The survey provides a large number of comparable demographic, socio-economic and employment-related indicators. The main strength is the availability of detailed information on the family situation (material living conditions, household composition, caring tasks for family or relatives, house ownership, child care, distribution of household roles, etc.). Data on health outcomes relate to self-reported mental and physical health, long-standing diseases and disabilities and locus of control. The Belgian wave 1 data are available for scientific research, upon request.