Demographic, socioeconomic and scientific –technological developments change society. Population-based longitudinal studies on persons, households and businesses measure these changes over a long period of time. They are a scientific instrument with which the long-term impacts of social change on both the individual and collective level can be observed and understood. At the same time, they form the basis for political planning and management procedures in, for instance, the fields of education, social policy or employment.
The statement examines the prerequisites for a successful longitudinal study with a view to infrastructure, organization and methods. It tries to determine how relevant scientific findings can be presented to policy-makers and society in ways that will have a meaningful impact. In order to keep the longitudinal studies in Germany at the highest scientific level and to be able to adequately put them to use, to sustainably finance then and to improve them in innovative ways, broad perspectives for the studies are being identified.
ML = Member of the Leopoldina