2 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We use outdated, illogical racial and ethnic categories.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

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.

Having children later makes parents happy

A new study shows that the satisfaction levels of parents depend not only on the number of children they have, but also on the point in time when they start a family.

Congratulations!

On July 1, MPIDR doctoral candidate Oliver Wisser successfully defended his doctoral dissertation. In his work, he refined a mathematical model that can be used by demographers to describe mortality. The goal of the work was to better reflect the gender-specific differences in mortality. 

The world on the move

In our new issue of “Demografische Forschung Aus Erster Hand,” read about which destinations migrants are choosing as they seek their fortune, and how parents are finding happiness.

Demography Matters

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

Four Al Jazeera links on migration

I've been sitting on four news articles from Al Jazeera for some time. More original content will be coming tonight, but I wanted to get these out first. In "Cuban migration surges after thaw in US-Cuba relations", Al Jazeera reports that attempts at migration from Cuba to the United States have surged despite the improvement in relations. This makes sense, with all the new incentives to migrate

The Economist

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 ...

What to do with Japan’s elderly: Out to pasture

UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  The right to die Fly Title:  What to do with Japan’s elderly Rubric:  A plan to send old people to the countryside Location:  TOKYO IN SUGAMO, a district of Tokyo, the river of human traffic turns greyer and slower as it files past shops selling thermal underwear and orthopaedic socks. Pavements have been modified to accommodate wheelchairs. Hand-written signs replace neon. The main street hosts ten chemists, two funeral arrangers and a karaoke bar where the song list stops in the 1970s. By 2060 Japan’s population is projected to fall from 127m to about 87m, of which almost 40% will be 65 or older (see chart). Last year the government created a new cabinet position for “overcoming population decline and revitalising local economies”. It is now mulling a proposal aimed at repopulating rural areas and cutting the cost of looking after grandma: persuading old people in the capital to move to the countryside. Over the next decade, the population of over-75s ...

Population: We happy few

UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Opportunity knocks Fly Title:  Population Rubric:  Nigeria’s population has been systematically exaggerated NIGERIANS, THEIR NEIGHBOURS grumble, think of their country as the Texas of Africa, where everything is bigger and better. On size, at least, they are largely right. By land mass Nigeria is about as big as France and Germany combined, dwarfing many other African countries. After a recalculation of its GDP in 2014 it was found to have overtaken South Africa to become the continent’s biggest economy. Its population, too, at an estimated 183m, is the largest of any African country. And it is growing so rapidly that the United Nations Population Division expects it to overtake America’s by 2050. Numbers such as these play a big part in getting people excited about Nigeria as a potentially vast consumer market and investment destination. There is just one snag: they are almost certainly wrong. Many of the figures about the country that are making the rounds are patently absurd, and few more so than the population ...

Free exchange: The force assaulting the euro

UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Entangled Fly Title:  Free exchange Rubric:  Europe’s ageing population poses a long-term threat to monetary union THE euro area has been doing better of late: growth of 0.4% in the first quarter (1.6% on an annualised basis) was the strongest in the two-year recovery; unemployment has fallen to 11.1%, its lowest in three years; and inflation is positive again. There has even been a surge of hope that Greece’s membership of the currency may yet be preserved. But even if a deal is stitched together to keep Greece in, the euro will soon face a broader crisis. The slow growth and strained government finances of recent years will soon be dramatically amplified by demography. And the member facing the most severe onslaught is not a small Mediterranean country but Germany, the euro area’s muscleman. The economic impact of an ageing population is initially positive but ultimately negative. The big generation born after the second world war contributed for many years to higher growth by making the workforce larger, both in ...

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

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]

In the press this week

A selection of French press article on population issues [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