1 Feb 2015

General News & Items of Interest to DemographersRSS

NY Times Census News

Census Bureau’s Plan to Cut Marriage and Divorce Questions Has Academics Up in Arms

Already, a series of unrelated policy decisions has reduced the ability to track family change in America.

Going Home From the South, a New Holiday Exodus

A surge of native Californians and Northeasterners who travel home from the South highlights its new role as a place to pursue the American dream.

Ceding to Florida, New York Falls to No. 4 in Population

With 19.7 million residents, New York now ranks behind California, Texas and Florida, according to new figures released by the United States Census Bureau.

The Rise of Men Who Don’t Work, and What They Do Instead

Young men work less. Older men work more. Here’s what happens at every age.

For Afghans, Name and Birthdate Census Questions Are Not So Simple

Culture is a census obstacle: Many Afghans lack surnames, most do not know their birthday and women will not speak if their husbands are out.

Max Planck Inst for Demographic Research


On January 8, 2015 former MPIDR-researcher Felix Rößger has successfully defended his PhD thesis at the University of Rostock. In his dissertation he focused on migration processes, taking a demographic perspective.


On December 17, MPIDR-researcher Tomasz F. Wrycza has successfully defended his PhD at the University of Rostock. His doctoral work provides the mathematical foundations for an approach to aging that is still new.

Have a child – yes or no? Who prevails?

Read in the new issue of  “Demografische Forschung Aus Erster Hand“ what factors affect the stability of marriage, why academics are having more children again, and who decides on the number of children to have – the man or the woman?

Jim Vaupel at the Nobel Week Dialogue

On 9th December the Nobel Week Dialogue will be held in Stockholm. The Dialogue is a full-day-event where representatives from politics, society and the scientific community – among them many Nobel Laureates – come together to engage in dialogue on aging society. MPIDR-Director Jim Vaupel will take an active part in the discussions.

What role do friends and family play in the decision to emigrate?

In her doctoral dissertation, MPIDR-researcher Anna Klabunde has developed a model that allows for simulations to be done on interactions in human networks. She used the model to show what role the network of family and friends play in the decision to emigrate, exemplified by Mexican migrants. She has now been awarded a price for her work.

Demography Matters

"Damage from cancelled census as bad as feared, researchers say"

On the front page of today's issue of Toronto's The Globe and Mail was Tavia Grant's article reporting that the scrapping of the long-form census once collected by Statistics Canada, ordered by the Canadian federal government for inscrutable reasons of its own, has really caused a lot of damage. The cancellation of the mandatory long-form census has damaged research in key areas, from how

"Greece: The Impact of Austerity on Migration"

A Marginal Revolution commenter linked to a study at the blog Multiplier Effect by Gennaro Zezza providing hard numbers on the scale of Greek population decline and emigration. (Germany seems to be a major destination.) The Hellenic Statistical Authority (ElStat) has recently released the new quarterly data on employment and the labor force, which includes a measure of the population aged 15 or

On why demographics mean a near-term recovery in Greece is unlikely

Yesterday's Greek legislative election which placed a SYRIZA-dominated government in charge of the country got quite a lot of attention for a lot of things in the blogosphere. Some, like blogger Charlie Stross, wondered if SYRIZA's election might lead to a global economic shift. Others have noted ways in which the new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, is breaking from the past, rejecting a

Notes on Newfoundland and Labrador

My post earlier this week about the inevitability of large-scale out-migration from Atlantic Canada, overlooked the remarkable economic growth of Newfoundland and Labrador. Etienne Grand’Maison and Andrew Sharpe's July 2013 paper for the Centre for the Study of Living Standards, "A Detailed Analysis of Newfoundland and Labrador's Productivity Performance, 1997-2010: The Impact of the Oil Boom"

On "Why the Muslim 'No-Go-Zone' Myth Won't Die"

The Atlantic's David A. Graham has an article up taking an in-depth look at the concept of ubiquitous "no-go zones" run by Muslims in western Europe. First introduced to the mainstream by Fox News television coverage, Graham notes that this pre-Eurabian concept comes from the conflation of three separate, misunderstood, phenomena. It seems to stem from two or maybe three real phenomena. The

The Economist

Free exchange: No country for young people

UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Russia’s wounded economy Fly Title:  Free exchange Rubric:  Demography may explain secular stagnation IN THE late 1930s economists trying to explain how a depression could drag on for nearly a decade wondered if the problem was a shortage of people. “A change-over from an increasing to a declining population may be very disastrous,” said John Maynard Keynes in 1937.* The following year another prominent economist, Alvin Hansen, fretted that America was running out of people, territory and new ideas. The result, he said, was “secular stagnation—sick recoveries which die in their infancy and depressions which feed on themselves and leave a hard and seemingly immovable core of unemployment.” A year ago Larry Summers of Harvard University revived the term “secular stagnation” to describe the rich world’s prolonged malaise. Weak demand and excess savings were making it impossible to stimulate growth with the usual tool of low short-term interest rates, he argued. Demographics may play a central role in the ailment Mr Summers ...

Daily chart: The end of the population pyramid

The shape of the world's demography is changing Comment Expiry Date:  Wed, 2014-12-03

Population projections: Don’t panic

UK Only Article:  standard article Fly Title:  Population projections Rubric:  A UN study sparks fears of a population explosion. The alarm is misplaced Main image:  20140927_BLP508_0.jpg “BOOM! Earth’s population could hit 12 billion by 2100”. That was the headline on Wired.com which greeted research by Patrick Gerland and others of the United Nations’ population division looking at the UN’s population projections to 2100. Britain’s Guardian newspaper said the study, published recently in the journal Science, “overturns 20 years of consensus on peak projection of 9 billion and gradual decline.” Climate News Network, a non-governmental organisation that tracks and summarises environmental articles, reckoned the study “has profound and alarming implications for political stability, food security and, of course, climate change.” But hang on a second. The UN’s population division is the outfit that much of the world relies on for basic demographic information. If it had changed its forecasts and overturned 20 years of consensus, that would be a very big deal ...

Birth control in Niger: Population explosion

UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Back to Iraq Fly Title:  Birth control in Niger Rubric:  Runaway birth rates are a disaster Location:  MARADI Main image:  20140816_MAP006_1.jpg HAOWA was already struggling to feed five children before she gave birth to triplets in the Gabi region of southern Niger 19 months ago. Now, when her babies scream for food she often finds herself helpless. “If they cry and I have nothing to give them, then I must let them cry,” she says, cradling two infants who bear the hallmarks of malnutrition. Their hair is yellowing, their bellies are distended and their expressions glazed. They lack the energy to shake the flies from their faces. It is a dismal but depressingly common picture in west Africa’s largest country. Niger is, by the reckoning of the UN’s Human Development Index, the poorest place on earth. Most of its inhabitants eke out a living growing subsistence crops on small plots of dusty, ...

The Economist explains: Why the Japanese are having so few babies

LAST month a local official in Aichi prefecture set out a daring proposal. Tomonaga Osada suggested that the authorities could distribute secretly punctured condoms to young married couples, who would then get to work boosting the birth rate. His unorthodox ploy won few supporters, yet it reflects a gathering concern about Japan’s demographic plight. Last year just over 1m babies were born, far fewer than the number needed to maintain the population, which is expected to drop from 127m to around 87m by 2060. Why are young Japanese so loth to procreate?The spiral of demographic decline is spinning faster as the number of women of child-bearing age falls. In May a report predicted that 500 or more towns across the country will disappear by around 2040 as young women migrate to bigger cities. The workforce is already shrinking, imperiling future growth. In recent years governments have embarked on a plethora of schemes to encourage childbearing, including a “women’s handbook” to educate young females on the high and low points of their fertility, and state-sponsored matchmaking events.The chief reason for the dearth of births is the decline of marriage. Fewer people are opting to wed, and they are doing so later in life. At least a third of young women aim to become full-time housewives, yet they struggle to find men who can support a traditional family. In ...

Urban Institute

How Head Start Grantees Set and Use School Readiness Goals

The School Readiness Goals and Head Start Program Functioning project examined how local Head Start and Early Head Start grantees set school readiness goals, how they collect and analyze data to track progress toward goals, and how they use these data in program planning and practice to improve program functioning. Based on a telephone survey with 73 grantees and follow-up site visits to 11 grantees, it found that grantees have largely embraced the school readiness goals requirement but were still learning to analyze and interpret school readiness data. It is accompanied by a research brief of the same title.

How Head Start Grantees Set and Use School Readiness Goals: Highlights from a Research Study

This brief presents highlights from a research study that describes how local Head Start and Early Head Start grantees set school readiness goals, how they collect and analyze data to track progress toward goals, and how they use these data in program planning and practice to improve program functioning. Based on a telephone survey with 73 grantees and follow-up site visits to 11 grantees, this study found that grantees have largely embraced the school readiness goals requirement, but were still learning to analyze and interpret school readiness data. It is accompanied by the full research report of the same title.

Observations of Leaders Driving Changes in State Government : Leadership Tools and Lessons from Two Work Support Strategies States

Change in state government, as in other large public and private organizations, is an uphill battle. In social and health service agencies, public officials seeking change face myriad challenges, including frequent turnover, limited funding, and lengthy legal and regulatory processes. Despite these obstacles, change is possible and is often driven by strong leaders. In this brief focused on leadership, we examine how state government officials in Colorado and Illinois, two states participating in the Work Support Strategies project, seized opportunities, addressed challenges, and led change.

Evolving Patterns in Diversity : Mapping America's Futures, Brief 2

From 2010 to 2030 the United States will become more racially and ethnically diverse, but demographic projections suggest the patterns of increasing diversity will vary widely across cities and regions. We project changes in the population shares across geographies for four major groups: Hispanics, non-Hispanic blacks, non-Hispanic whites, and non-Hispanic others. Though growing diversity across the United States will be welcome in many ways, it will also bring challenges to areas in which different groups increase in population share.

Children and Youth in an Aging America : Mapping America's Futures, Brief 3

Across the United States, both the elder population-those older than 64-and the younger population-those younger than 20-will grow over the next 15 years. The growth of the elder population is ubiquitous, and the growth of the younger population is more geographically variable. We consider the implications of this growth for generational balance across the United States, using an average scenario of America's future. Areas with growing populations will need to invest resources in a young population growing apace and an elder population growing faster than the overall population.


In the press this week

A selection of French press article on population issues [FR]

Forty years after the Veil Law legalizing abortion in France, "recourse to abortion is ...

One in three women in France has an abortion over her lifetime, according to data for 2011. Forty years after passage of the law of 17 January 1975 legalizing abortion (interruption volontaire de grossesse or IVG) in France, Population & Societies retraces how behaviors have evolved. The number of abortion procedures is currently stable and fewer women have an abortion. However, the share of repeat abortions has risen continuously, though the proportion of women concerned remains low (14%). "The choice of whether or not to end a pregnancy has become a right rather than a last resort," conclude the authors.

L’Atlas Mondial des Femmes [a world atlas of women]: the paradoxes of emancipation

Twenty years after the Beijing international conference on women, what can be said of women’s condition? The Atlas Mondial des Femmes brings to light the “paradoxes of emancipation”: many advances have not been brought to completion; some newly acquired rights are under threat, achieved progress may conceal new inequalities. What of the right to control one’s own body, the right to education, work, sexuality, to play sports, participate in politics, and others? In an atlas that includes over 120 maps and computer graphics, 25 scientific specialists—15 of them INED researchers—assess the situation of women throughout the world [Editions Autrement in partnership with INED]

“A demographic perspective on gender inequality” in France

Men and women in France are moving toward but have not yet attained equality. Despite genuine advances, prejudices and stereotypes remained firmly anchored and operative. In the latest issue of “Population & Societies”, INED’s Demography, Gender and Societies research unit show that regardless of the fact that girls do better in school than boys, women’s occupational trajectories are still more difficult than men’s. Women’s sexuality has been liberated but prejudices and stereotypes about it persist. Within couples, women are still often victims of physical or sexual violence. And though women live longer than men, they often do so in poorer health.