19 Dec 2014

General News & Items of Interest to DemographersRSS

NY Times Census News

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.

How We Know the Divorce Rate Is Falling

The data on divorce aren’t perfect, but the three best sources all show that it has become less common.

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.

Max Planck Inst for Demographic Research


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.

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.

Demography Matters

One note on the global revolution in longevity

A recent Bloomberg article, Dani Bloomfield's "It’s the Best Time to Be Born as Life Expectancy Tops 70", caught my eye. These are good times to be a baby. A child born last year will live six years longer on average than one born in 1990, the first time in history that life expectancy worldwide extends past age 70. Much of the gain has come from poor countries, where better health

On looking at peripheries

For the next little while here at Demography Matters, I'll be posting examinations of various lengths about the demographic dynamics of peripheries, territories and populations both. Part of my reason for this has to do with my own personal interests in the topic, coming from a relatively marginal area of Canada myself. Relationships between peoples and individuals and regions located in the core

On how Afghanistan shows the importance of having a census

A recent article by Joseph Goldstein in The New York Times, "For Afghans, Name and Birthdate Census Questions Are Not So Simple", caught my attention. After long delays, false starts and squandered millions in foreign aid, the great Afghan census is finally underway. The process is more than an exercise in counting bodies but one that, officials hope, will head off the kind of voter fraud that

Looking to the science fiction of Monica Hughes and the demographics of the future

Just this week, I've had the occasion to reread prolific Canadian young adult science fiction writer Monica Hughes' 1991 novel Invitation to the Game. I read the book back when it came out in hardcover, as a Grade 6 student on Prince Edward Island, and was impressed. I'm happy to say that the book still holds up as well, that the novel still deserves my warm memories and the awards and good

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

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

Marital Disruption and Health Insurance

Despite the high levels of marital disruption in the United States and the fact that a significant portion of health insurance coverage for those less than age 65 is based on family membership, surprisingly little research is available on the consequences of marital disruption for the health insurance coverage of men, women, and children.

Longitudinal Influences on Men's Lives: Research from the Transition to Fatherhood Project and Beyond

In this paper we discuss findings from the Transition to Fatherhood Project, as well as other research, to consider how changes in fatherhood may affect men.

Review of Budgetary Policies and Practices in the Massachusetts Subsidized Child Care System

This report summarizes a review aimed at helping the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) more efficiently manage annual appropriations from multiple budgetary accounts that fund child care services. It combines an analysis of the spending history of these accounts, a review of current forecasting models, and information from key stakeholders and staff. The report concludes with suggestions for EEC to consider as it continues to improve its management of spending on subsidized child care. It is the first of several products prepared as part of a legislatively mandated assessment of the states subsidized child care system.

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.


“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.

Abortion more frequent now among younger women in France [FR]

Publication: scientific journal Population 2014, n°3 to be released soon Young women are aborting more frequently in France while abortion is falling among women over 25 years of age. According to an article in the journal “Population,” elective abortions are now concentrated among women in their “sexual youth” who have not yet had children. Nearly 40 years after the Loi Veil legalized the practice in France, the number of abortions is stable at approximately 200,000 per year. Fewer women are having abortions, but repeat abortions are rising.

In the press this week

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

Forced marriages: questions for Christelle Hamel

How can women confronted with the problem of forced marriage be more effectively helped? INED researcher Christelle Hamel has co-authored a statistical study of the forced marriage cases handled by the Voix de Femmes association, which receives over 200 calls every year from women seeking to avoid a forced marriage or who have already been made to marry against their will. Many of these women are young students who end up materially and financially trapped, with no means to flee their situation. The study reveals the magnitude and diversity of the violence these women are subjected to and the difficulties the association encounters in its efforts to help them.

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.