24 Nov 2014

General News & Items of Interest to DemographersRSS

NY Times Census News

Do It For Utica!

To address shrinking populations, a call to coital arms.

Numbers Bring a Reporter to Empty, but Not Vacant, Pieds-à-Terre

A Times contributor finds a method to uncover empty, but not vacant, apartments in New York City.

A Formula to Find the Uninsured Around the Country

Enroll America began with a huge phone survey of 12,000 adults and added neighborhood data.

Negro? Prieto? Moreno? A Question of Identity for Black Mexicans

Mexico is planning to do something it has not attempted in decades and never on its modern census: ask people if they consider themselves black.


The Census Bureau tracks vacancy rates to find out who lives in Manhattan full time.

Max Planck Inst for Demographic Research

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.

Older, smarter, greener, and more productive

It is commonly believed that demographic change poses a danger to society. The two MPIDR-researchers Fanny Kluge and Tobias Vogt have a more differentiated view, though. In this contribution they show how we could even benefit from demographic change.

COMPADRE: Worldwide achievement for plant demography

A new database with demographics of a unique worldwide coverage of plant species called „COMPADRE Plant Matrix Database“ went online today at www.compadre-db.org.

“Longer life now that the Wall is gone”

In this interview MPIDR researcher Tobias Vogt explains how he makes use of the fall of the Berlin Wall and reunification for his research. And he talks about treasures of data yet to unbury.

No work, no children?

An investigation by MPIDR-researcher Michaela Kreyenfeld shows that among the unemployed, the decision about whether or not to have children depends to a large extent on sex, age, and educational attainment.

Demography Matters

Does The Secular Stagnation Theory Have Any Sort of Validity?

In a number of blog-posts (Paul Krugman's Bicycling Problem, On Bubble Business Bound, The Expectations Fairy) I have examined some of the implications of the theory of secular stagnation. But I haven't up to now argued why I think the hypothesis that Japan and some parts of Europe are suffering from some kind of secular stagnation could well be a valid one. Strangely, while I would suggest the

Some thematic links: France, Ukraine, Russia, Japan, China, South Pacific

I've been collecting links for the past while, part of my ongoing research into some interesting topics. I thought I'd share some with you tonight. On the subject of France, second-largest economy in the Eurozone and one of the high-income countries with the stablest demographic structures, Marginal Revolution has linked to some analysts (1, 2) who point out that the French job market is

Still here!

It has been a while, I know, but Demography Matters is still here. I've got the raw material for new posts in the works. A question to you, our readers. What would you like to see? Are there any particular areas or regions of the world, perhaps, or any kind of themes? Leave your suggestions in the comments.

On the longevity and extended health of Icarians, among others

Via the Washington Post I came across a 2012 article in The New York Times Magazine by Dan Buettner, "The Island Where People Forget to Die". In this article, Buettner highlights the longevity and good health of the inhabitants of Icaria, a small Greek island in the Aegean Sea several dozen kilometres away from the Anatolian mainland where the average inhabitant can expect to live a decade longer

Secular Stagnation Part II - On Bubble Business Bound

"I now suspect that the kind of moderate economic policy regime...... that by and large lets markets work, but in which the government is ready both to rein in excesses and fight slumps – is inherently unstable." Paul Krugman - The Instability of Moderation "Conventional macreconomic theory leaves us in a very serious problem, because we all seem to agree that whereas you can keep the federal

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

Literature Review in Brief: Healthcare Occupational Training and Support Programs under the Affordable Care Act

This brief highlights key points from the report Literature Review: Healthcare Occupational Training and Support Programs under the ACABackground and Implications for Evaluating HPOG regarding the structure of and employment trends in the healthcare industry, implications of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for entry-level employment in healthcare, and resulting challenges and opportunities for training and support programs. The brief was developed as part of the HPOG Implementation, Systems and Outcome Project, which is being led by Abt Associates in partnership with the Urban Institute.

Do Homeownership and Rent Subsidies Protect Individuals from Material Hardship?

Homeowners and subsidized renters experience significantly lower material hardship than unsubsidized renters, even after taking account of income, income variability, race, education, and family structure. Homeownership conveys more protection against hardship than do rent subsidies. Using the Survey of Income and Program Participation, we estimate the likelihood of experiencing any material hardship is about 9.2 percent lower for subsidized renters and 24.5 percent lower for homeowners. Even homeowners who bought just before the recent crash in home prices experienced less hardship than unsubsidized renters. White, black, and Hispanic homeowners all suffer less material hardship than their renting counterparts (whether subsidized or unsubsidized). This reduction is most pronounced among Hispanic families.

California's Implementation of the Affordable Care Act : Implications for Immigrants in the State

The Immigrant Access to Health and Human Services project describes the legal and policy contexts that affect immigrant access to health and human services. The study aims to describe federal, state, and local program eligibility provisions related to immigrants, major barriers to immigrants access to health and human services for which they are legally eligible, and innovative or promising practices that can help states manage their programs. This brief, drafted in late 2013, describes how the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) in California might affect immigrants access to health care in the state.

Low-Income Immigrant Families' Access to SNAP and TANF

The Immigrant Access to Health and Human Services project describes the policy contexts that affect immigrant access to health and human services. The study describes the federal, state, and local program eligibility provisions related to immigrants, barriers to immigrants access to health and human services for which they are eligible, and innovative practices that can help states manage their programs. This brief presents data on poverty rates and receipt of two public benefits -- SNAP and TANF for immigrant and US-born families. We find that children with foreign-born parents are overrepresented among poor families, but underrepresented in public benefits enrollment.

Improving Access of Low-Income Immigrant Families to Health and Human Services : The Role of Community-Based Organizations

The Immigrant Access to Health and Human Services project describes the legal and policy contexts that affect immigrant access to health and human services. The study aims to identify and describe federal, state, and local program eligibility provisions related to immigrants, major barriers to immigrants access to health and human services for which they are legally eligible, and innovative or promising practices that can help states manage their programs. This brief describes innovative practices that community-based organizations have used to address under-enrollment of low-income immigrant families in SNAP, TANF, Medicaid, and CHIP in four states Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Texas.


A website on the Violence and Gender Relations (VIRAGE) survey

INED’s Violence and Gender Relations (VIRAGE) survey now has its own website, which will offer complete information from this major survey aimed at improving our knowledge of violence against men and women in France. The new site has been launched before the data collection process, which will get underway next year in metropolitan France. The main VIRAGE survey sample is composed of 25,000 persons--12,500 women and 12,500 men—aged 20-69 years. The aim is to describe the contexts and consequences of violence of all kinds and compare how it affects men and women. The survey should also make it possible to estimate the number of children living in a context of domestic violence and to shed light on their situation. 

One in four HIV-positive persons in France reports having suffered discriminatory treatment

Having the AIDS virus exposes people to discrimination within their family, at the doctor’s and at work. According to the latest issue of Population & Societies, one-fourth of HIV- positive persons say they have suffered discriminatory treatment in the last two years. Women with HIV, particularly immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa, report more discrimination than men. HIV-positive persons feel discriminated against primarily because of that condition, but racist or homophobic treatment is also reported

Social mobilization and political changes in the Middle East through the prism of gender

Pôle Suds Scientific Workshop coordinated by Nisrin Abu-Amara, Sylvie Cromer, Smaïn Laacher The current socio-political transformations in the Middle East demonstrate the existence of a process of social change affecting both the political, social, but also family life. Gender relations are a social category around which focus tensions, expressed by state and social violence, which are reactions against the desire for change.

In the press this week

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

Questions on the government plan to index family benefits on income

Modulating family benefits by income—a good idea or one that undermines the universality principle? For INED researcher Olivier Thévenon, this measure seems preferable to reducing aid to pay childcare costs, which plays a key role in furthering women’s employment and improving family living standards