Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)


Population - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

India’s Water Future to 2025-2050 : Business as Usual Scenario and Deviations

L'International Water Management Institute (Institut international de gestion des ressources en eau) est un organisme scientifique à but non lucratif dont la mission est d'« améliorer la gestion des ressources en eau et en terres pour assurer l'alimentation et les moyens de subsistance et protéger la nature ». L'IWMI travaille en partenariat avec des pays en développement, des instituts internationaux et nationaux de recherche, des universités et d'autres organisations en vue de mettre au point des outils ...

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Économie, emploi - Géopolitique - Population - Société, modes de vie

Living Conditions in Europe. Data 2002-2005

Au-delà de l'union politique et monétaire des États européens, quelles conditions de vie les Européens partagent-ils ? Dans la cinquième édition de Living Conditions in Europe, Eurostat a regroupé les données disponibles concernant les conditions de vie des Européens. En 2004, l'Europe des 25 (UE-25) représentait 461 millions de personnes, soit 7,2 % de la population mondiale (contre 11 % en 1970). Cette même année, plus d'un cinquième de la population européenne avait moins de 20 ans et 4 ...

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Économie, emploi - Population

Employment in France: the turning-point?Salvation through demographic change?

The fact that the unemployment rate in France continues to be almost 10% is a constant source of worry for the French, now even for the best qualified among them. Nevertheless, as the baby-boomers reach retirement age, major changes are forecast for the working population and for the French labour market.

In this article Alain Parant analyses changes in the French population in the past, present and future and their possible consequences for employment. Nothing can stop the ageing of the population in the next few years, he says, but it is difficult to predict what effect this will have for the population as a whole, since demographic change also depends on factors such as fertility and immigration. One thing is certain: France paradoxically has one of the highest rates of underemployment of older workers in Europe.

In the near future the rapid ageing of the French population could be accompanied by continuing high levels of unemployment and underemployment. It remains to be seen whether these phenomena will occur simultaneously or with a lag, Alain Parant explains, and that will depend in part on how the French government and French businesses react.

CR table ronde


Les futurs possibles de l’Inde

L’Inde, comme la Chine, fascine. Les performances économiques des deux pays, notamment, n’en finissent pas de susciter l’intérêt de nombre de penseurs, hommes politiques et observateurs étrangers ; certains parmi ceux-ci cherchant en retour à identifier les raisons de ces succès, ainsi que leurs conséquences vraisemblables à plus ou moins long terme. Ce travail d’observation et de réflexion prospective, déjà fondamental en soi, apparaît également comme un excellent moyen d’observation et de mise en lumière de ...

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Économie, emploi - Population

The Possible Futures for the Indian Economy

India, like China, has increasingly fascinated Western economists and analysts. The country that calls itself "the world's largest democracy" looks to be one of the most promising economic powers of the 21st century.
Jean-Joseph Boillot, an expert on India, examines here the rather too common tendency to idealize its economic prospects. He makes use of scenarios to show the possible trends for this vast nation in the coming years and he emphasizes the many uncertainties facing the country, disagreeing with the idea that India will be a superpower by 2050. For both demographic and economic reasons, there is no guarantee that India will soon achieve a comparable growth to its Chinese neighbour. With the aid of forecasts and scenarios, Jean-Joseph Boillot highlights the many factors that could affect Indian growth prospects. In particular, he cites the results of a study produced by the Davos forum which concluded that India's economic development remains unclear and will depend above all on the political strategies it adopts.



Russia: the Demographic Alternatives

Since 1994, the Russian population has fallen by almost 6 million. This steady and substantial decline reflects some malfunctioning in Russia. If this trend continues or worsens, the country is likely to encounter serious economic and social problems, accentuated by the difficulties of administering its vast land area. Anatoli Vichnevski examines the demographic prospects for Russia and highlights the catastrophic trend in death rates, and with a birthrate apparently set to remain low, there is little reason to expect a major upturn through natural increase.
Vichnevski first presents the projections of the size and composition of the population made by the Russian Academy of Science's Centre of Demography and Human Ecology, which he heads, and then discusses the prerequisites if the Russian population is to be stabilized at its present level from now until 2100. He argues that if Russia wants to maintain its population constant throughout the 21st century, there will have to be strong reliance on immigration. For this reason, he says, "seeking ways of coping with the challenge of migration in the 21st century will be one of the most important goals of Russia's domestic and perhaps also its foreign policy".



Japan as a World Testing Ground for Ageing

In 2004 and 2005 Futuribles, in partnership with the Aleph group of the French Commissariat général du Plan, published a series of articles about public futures studies in various countries. In one of these, Évelyne Dourille-Feer discussed the Japanese arrangements (no.303, December 2004). Here she goes further, focusing on one particular aspect of public policy in Japan: how to cope with an ageing population. This research was carried out under the auspices of the Aleph group and then updated for Futuribles (the Aleph group no longer exists following the restructuring of the Commissariat général du Plan).
The author describes how far Japan typifies what happens when there is a rapidly ageing population, and then discusses the social and economic implications for the country over the long term. She goes on to outline the ways in which the public authorities are tackling the problem (pensions, dependency, etc.) and the reforms implemented in order to improve the welfare of Japanese society over the long term, given this situation.


Géopolitique - Population

Turkey's Importance in the European Union: Would Its Rapid Population Growth Allow It to Dominate European Decision-making?

The question of whether Turkey should eventually be allowed to join the European Union was much in the news in 2005, and worked its way into the debate about the European Constitution even though it was not relevant. Independently of the political debate about the legitimacy of Turkey's admission to the EU, Frédéric Allemand has looked at the possible repercussions of Turkey joining for the way the Union's institutions operate, in view of the country's sheer demographic size and growth.
Relying on a variety of population forecasts (United Nations, Eurostat, etc.) to 2025 for the current EU member states, those already in the queue (Bulgaria, Romania, the Balkan states, etc.) and Turkey, Frédéric Allemand has calculated the voting weight that Turkey would have, based on population, in the Council of Ministers, the European Parliament and various other bodies, in the context of a greatly enlarged European Union and on the assumption that current arrangements for decision-making remain unchanged. He points out that, as the most populous country, Turkey would effectively have the same influence on decision-making as a "big" nation, like the four current "big" members (France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom), who would see their relative weight reduced. But for one thing, this reduction in the relative importance of the current "big" four would just be part of a general trend that has been developing over the last three decades. For another, Turkey's large size need not translate into actual influence on the decision-making process, as experience shows that there is a certain distrust of the big countries which can often lead to their being marginalized.

CR intervention d'expert

Population - Société, modes de vie

Structures sociales et dynamiques générationnelles en France

L'un des grands problèmes de l'analyse générationnelle, c'est que l'on a toujours cru que les générations étaient une espèce de maillon neutre dans la chaîne du changement du long terme. On doit cette hypothèse à Emmanuel Kant pour qui chaque génération travaille - sans le savoir - à faire en sorte que la génération (ou les générations) qui vont suivre bénéficient de plus de choses. Dans cette optique, la croissance économique, le fameux 2 pour 100 par an ...

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Économie, emploi - Entreprises, travail - Population

emography, Economic Activity and Growth. Why Is there Such a Disparity in Economic Growth between the United States and European Countries?

As we have already argued (Futuribles, n° 299, July-August 2004), whereas the standard of living of Europeans gradually caught up with that of the Americans in the three prosperous decades after the Second World War, the gap between them has widened again since then. What is the reason for the relative decline of Europe vis-à-vis the United States and for the varied showing from country to country within Europe? The experts disagree as to the underlying causes of these differences.
Because we are concerned with knowledge-based economies, the factors most often mentioned are the lower spending on R&D, the lags in innovation and rigidities in the labour markets of European countries, especially France. "Wrong!" say Philippe Durance, Michel Godet and Michel Martinez. Instead the explanations lie in the differences in demographic increase and the disparities in hours worked and, above all, in employment levels.
The authors' arguments come down to three factors. First, four-fifths of the difference between growth rates in the United States and Europe can be explained by the difference in rates of population increase, followed by the shorter hours worked by those in employment (an American works 25% longer hours than a French worker), and lastly the lower proportion of those in work in Europe, with significant differences among countries, for instance between Britain and France.
And here the authors proffer an argument that cannot fail to capture the attention of our readers: "Let's stop boasting about the apparent high productivity rate in France, which is largely a reflection in the statistics of the fact that the least productive workers are consigned to the scrapheap". In other words, "the hourly productivity rate is then an indicator of exclusion", and it would be better if everyone worked, so that overall activity rates rose, rather than practising discrimination in the name of maintaining productivity.

Futurs d'antan

Entreprises, travail - Population

The Ageing of America and its Consequences (1988) (Futures of Yesteryear)

This article was originally published in Futuribles in 1988. The author then issued a warning to readers about the serious risks connected with the ageing of the population of the United States. Mahoney emphasizes in particular the problems of financing health care expenditures that might arise, which might lead later to rationing care and raise the question of the right to life of very old sick people. He also stresses the possibility of serious intergenerational conflicts in the event that public spending were to become too heavily biased towards funding pensions and the health care needs of the elderly at the expense of the working population and their children. In this regard, the ability of elderly people to organize pressure groups and their greater propensity to vote relative to younger age-groups means that politicians tend to court them and listen closely to their demands; as their numbers rise, the imbalance favouring them at the expense of young people might increase significantly, according to Thomas Mahoney.
The article remains as interesting now as in 1988, to judge from the pattern of demographic change in the United States and its likely consequences (see also the article by Charles du Granrut on "Crunch time for the pension system in the United States?" in this issue, p. 21). It remains just as relevant, too, for the other industrialized countries experiencing an ageing population, in particular France and the "old" countries of Europe.


Économie, emploi - Population

World Development Report 2007. Development and the Next Generation

Il n'y a jamais eu autant de jeunes dans le monde ; 1,3 milliard de personnes sont aujourd'hui âgées de 15 à 24 ans. Ce chiffre devrait passer à 1,5 milliard en 2035, pour ne décliner ensuite que très graduellement. Ce nouveau rapport de la Banque mondiale se base sur une enquête auprès de 3 000 jeunes de 26 nationalités et sur une base de données statistiques couvrant 97 pays. Selon Paul Wolfowitz, président de la Banque ...

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Chapitre Population

Ce chapitre est extrait du Rapport Vigie 2016 de Futuribles International, qui propose un panorama structuré des connaissances et des incertitudes des experts que l'association a mobilisés pour explorer les évolutions des 15 à 35 prochaines années sur 11 thématiques.