Home change is societal change European research has investigated the links between demographic change and housing wealth. Health © Thinkstock Understanding the changes to demographic metabolism is as much a study of society as it is of the forces that influence, threaten or encourage change. The 'Demographic change and housing wealth' (Demhow) project under the Socio-Economic and Humanities Programme has identified macro-forces that bear major influence upon the shrinking and aging of populations: one that has a direct correlation to the changes in housing systems. With 12 partners drawn from EU Member States, Demhow has investigated such macro-influences as changing attitudes towards the acquisition of housing particularly considering a shrinking child-raising demography. Just how are these two trends linked, and what, if anything, is the significance? Seen as a strictly financial entity, home ownership across Europe totals around EUR 13 trillion, and has become increasingly treated as a financial tool or asset. Demhow investigated how the composition of wealth relates to changes in population, housing, state pensions and financial institutions. Across the EU-25, housing equity is some 40 % higher than Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This figure is somewhat larger in newer Member States and in some southern countries than it is in older Member States. Demhow's investigation into these trends is intended to translate into suitable knowledge and have a direct bearing on policy formation.