29 Aug 2015

General News & Items of Interest to DemographersRSS


NY Times Census News

Report Says Census Undercounts Mixed Race

Self-identification may account for Pew’s finding of 6.9 percent of adults as mixed race, compared with the 2010 census, which reported 2.1 percent of adults as multiracial.

The Myth of a White Minority

We use outdated, illogical racial and ethnic categories. Social reality is much more complex.

The Search for the Best Estimate of the Transgender Population

Knowing the numbers is important for a variety of policy reasons, but firm answers are elusive.

Rescuing North Africa's Migrants

The current migration is being driven by the genocidal warfare of which they are victims in their home countries.

More Women Find Room for Babies and Advanced Degrees

The share of highly educated women who are childless in their mid-40s has fallen significantly over the last two decades, a Pew Research Center analysis says.

Max Planck Inst for Demographic Research

Slow fertility transition in Africa

On September 3, John Bongaarts, vice president at the Population Council,  will give a lecture at the MPIDR. He will address the question of why fertility transition in Sub-Saharan Africa was later and is slower than in the developing world.

A touch of immortality

The main topic of the current issue of the quarterly Max Planck Research is dedicated to the topic of aging. One article in this issue is about a long-term project of the MPIDR, in which researchers are trying to figure out why the freshwater polyp Hydra does not age.

When new parents become unhappy, brothers and sisters become less likely

New study: Couples who perceive a drop in happiness in the first year after they became parents, have a lower probability of having second children.

3rd Conference of the Rostocker Ring

The Rostocker Ring is an initiative that helps friends, alumni, and current members of the MPIDR to stay in touch. The 3rd Conference of the Rostocker Ring will take place on August 31.

10th birthday of the European Doctoral School of Demography

On September 1, the European Doctoral School of Demography celebrates its 10th birthday. The program will include a symposium on education as well as opportunities for young scholars to meet with eminent demographers to discuss their research plans and scientific career development.

Demography Matters

Some more updates

Expanding on the theme of a March 2011 post looking at Bangladesh's demographic developments, The Wire compared human development in India and Bangladesh. Despite still being poorer per capita than India, Bangladesh consistently does a better job than its larger neighbour. The Dragon's Tales linked to an AFP article noting how sustained below-replacement fertility has finally started to lead to

On "The Wetsuitman"

I recently came across an English-language article in Norway's Dagbladet, "The Wetsuitman". Written by Anders Fjellberg and featuring photos by Tomm W. Christiansen and Hampus Lundgren, it's a superb if very sad piece of investigative journalism that takes two wetsuit-clad bodies found on the shores of the North Sea and uses them to examine such phenomena as Syria's war refugees and the desperate

Some news links: Greece, China, Japan, Hong Kong

I thought I'd share three clusters of news links on subjects I've been following here, and one oddity. As Greece heads towards a catastrophic meltdown, the theme of emigration from Greece is one of several being explored by the international press. The Guardian and Bloomberg suggest that all kinds of professionally-trained Greeks are looking for a way out of their country, that newspaper later

Notes on the emergent western Balkan route of migrants

The Guardian was one news source of more than a few to report on Hungary's plans to build a fence along its border with Serbia to keep out migrants coming from Serbia. Hungary has ordered the closure of the EU country’s border with Serbia and the construction of a fence along the frontier to keep out migrants, the foreign minister said. “The Hungarian government has instructed the interior

On the upcoming ethnic cleansing of supposed Haitians from the Dominican Republic

Haiti has been mentioned here at Demography Matters a few times. In January 2010 after the devastating earthquake, for instance, I described the evolution and prospects of the substantial Haitian diaspora and also explained why a quixotic offer by the Senegalese president to resettle Haitians in Africa was not likely to lead anywhere, June 2010 mentioning that French-using Haiti was major source

The Economist

Tasting Menu: August 21st 2015 edition

UK Only Article:  standard article Fly Title:  Tasting Menu Rubric:  This week: Asia's floundering fertility rates, how to invest like the Amish and why arachnophobes shouldn't look up Main image:  20150822_mma903_107.jpg Published:  20150821 Source:  Online extra Enabled

Banyan: Asia’s new family values

UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Editing humanity Fly Title:  Banyan Rubric:  Europe shows how Asia’s demographic crisis might correct itself Main image:  20150822_ASD000_0.jpg MENTION “demographic crisis”, and most people think of countries where women each have six children and struggle to feed them. Much of Asia has the opposite problem: low fertility and an upside-down family structure (four grandparents, two parents, one child). Three-quarters of all the people in countries with exceptionally low fertility live in East and South-East Asia. Prosperous Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have fertility rates of 1.4 or below. The fertility rate is the number of children a woman can expect to have during her lifetime. A rate of 2.1 implies stability: the population is replacing itself. Demographers refer to rates of 1.4 or less as “ultra low”. The difference between 2.1 and 1.4 may not sound like much. But consider what it has meant for Japan. In the early 1970s the country had a fertility ...

Population forecasts: The world’s biggest country

UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Xi’s history lessons Fly Title:  Population forecasts That India will overtake China as the world’s most populous country is not in question. But the date has just moved closer. The UN now reckons India will surpass China in 2022 rather than in 2028, as it thought two years ago. The new estimates put China’s fertility rate a bit lower, at 1.6 children per woman. India’s higher fertility rate (2.5 children per woman) and younger population mean it will swell faster, reaching 1.4 billion in 2022, when China’s population will peak. China’s working-age population is already shrinking as the country greys. India will eventually follow. By 2050 about 500m Chinese will be over 60, and 330m Indians. Article body images:  20150815_ASC274_1.png Published:  20150815 Source:  The Economist Newspaper Version:  16 Historic ...

Demography: Baby love

UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Empire of the geeks Fly Title:  Demography Rubric:  There are good and bad ways to prop up a country’s population Main image:  20150725_LDP002_0.jpg A FEW years ago Singaporeans were treated to a song urging them to get busy for the sake of the nation. “I’m a patriotic husband, you my patriotic wife, lemme book into ya camp and manufacture life,” went the ditty, accompanied by a video depicting a thrusting cartoon heart. This being Singapore, a stern caveat was appended: “Only financially secure adults in stable, committed, long-term relationships should participate.” Some poor countries fret about excessive fertility. A typical woman in Niger, for example, will have seven babies. But birth rates have fallen so fast as the world has grown richer that many places now have the opposite problem (see article). The fertility rate is 1.1 in Hong Kong, implying that each generation its population will fall by roughly half. In Japan, Italy and Germany it is 1.4 or ...

Demographic statistics: Lies, damned lies, and Lysistrata

UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Empire of the geeks Fly Title:  Demographic statistics Rubric:  A superior—but, sadly, slower—way of measuring fertility “OUR women know what to do and when,” crowed Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, after a recent uptick in the country’s fertility rate. A fall in America’s, by contrast, produced gloom. Both reactions were absurd. The conventional measure of fertility is a poor guide to how many babies people produce. Imagine a Lysistrata scenario in which nobody procreates for a year. The commonly cited “total fertility rate”—the number of births each woman would have, assuming that in each year of her reproductive life she had the average number of children for women of that age in the current year—would fall to zero. Once the sex strike ended, though, it would bounce back, perhaps even rising higher than before, if couples try to make up for lost time. The “cohort fertility rate”—the actual number of children born to each woman in her lifetime—would change little. Life is not a Greek comedy, yet something like this ...

Urban Institute

Death Rates for US Women Ages 15 to 54 : Some Unexpected Trends

Recent trends in death rates among US women ages 15 to 54 reveal that rates among non-Hispanic whites are rising for many causes of death. These rising causes include accidental poisoning (linked to the epidemic of prescription opioids), suicide, and obesity- and smoking-related diseases. Specific changes in behavior might reduce some of these death rates, but the range of rising causes of death among white women suggests a need for a broader perspective on the social determinants of health. Unhealthy behaviors often arise and persist within certain social and economic contexts, and such behaviors resist improvement or are replaced by other unhealthy behaviors unless those contexts change.

Supporting Youth Transitioning out of Foster Care, Issue Brief 2: Financial Literacy and Asset Building Programs

This issue brief is one of three that focus on programs providing services to youth transitioning out of foster care in three common service domains: education, employment, and financial literacy and asset building. This brief highlights why financial literacy and asset building services are important to youth currently or formerly in foster care, what we know about the current types of programs and services offered in this service area, and the effectiveness of these services. Drawing on a review of existing research and convenings conducted with researchers, program managers, and federal staff, this brief address remaining research gaps and how the available evidence should inform future planning for evaluation activities.

Preparing for a "Next Generation" Evaluation of Independent Living Programs for Youth in Foster Care

Policymakers have long been concerned about the poor outcomes experienced by youth in foster care transitioning to adulthood. Experimental evaluations of independent living programs conducted under the John H Chafee Independence Act found the programs studied showed limited evidence of effectiveness; however, the evaluation made important observations about independent living programs overall and provided guidance for ongoing efforts to improve services for transition-age youth in foster care. This brief presents a conceptual framework, typology, and central conclusions from current planning efforts to develop an agenda for future evaluation activities.

Supporting Youth Transitioning out of Foster Care, Issue Brief 3: Employment Programs

This issue brief is one of three that focus on programs providing services to youth transitioning out of foster care in three common service domains: education, employment, and financial literacy and asset building. This brief highlights why employment services are important to youth currently or formerly in foster care, what we know about the current types of programs and services offered in this service area, and the effectiveness of these services. Drawing on a review of existing research and convenings conducted with researchers, program managers, and federal staff, this brief address remaining research gaps and how the available evidence should inform future planning for evaluation activities.

Supporting Youth Transitioning out of Foster Care, Issue Brief 1: Education Programs

This issue brief is one of three that focus on programs providing services to youth transitioning out of foster care in three common service domains: education, employment, and financial literacy and asset building. This brief highlights why education services are important to youth currently or formerly in foster care, what we know about the current types of programs and services offered in this service area, and the effectiveness of these services. Drawing on a review of existing research and convenings conducted with researchers, program managers, and federal staff, this brief address remaining research gaps and how the available evidence should inform future planning for evaluation activities.

INED

In the press this week

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

Imagine the population of tomorrow

New animation where you can follow the United Nations scenario or build your own

INED’s partnership with France Culture

You’ll find a selection of courses and lectures on francecultureplus.fr, the France Culture site dedicated to campus life [FR]

A majority of people in France would prefer to die at home, but few actually do so

Only one quarter of deaths occur at home in France. Of persons near death whose preferences were known to their physician, the majority wished to die at home. But that wish is seldom granted, according to the latest issue of Population and Societies, which presents recent findings of the Fin de Vie in France survey (End of Life in France) conducted by INED since 2010. The survey bears on non-sudden deaths of persons aged 18 or over; survey data allows for retracing the last month of existence. As death approaches, hospitalization becomes more frequent: almost seven in ten men and six in ten women die in hospital. Only 14% of persons near death remain at home throughout the last month of life. The complexity of treatment is often cited to explain why home care is not feasible.  

What is the link between mothers’ level of education and low birthweight?

The lower a woman’s level of education, the greater the risk that she will have a low birthweight baby—that is, a baby weighing under 2.5 kg at birth. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy play a role in the relationship between mothers’ education and low birthrate, according to the latest issue of Population & Societies, based on initial findings of the Elfe study. This study is following the lives until age 20 of 18,000 children born in France in 2011