Population

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

Forum

Population

French Population Statistics in Doubt

New statistics on the French population have just been published following the latest census. They estimate the population at 1 January 2004 to be 62 million, a clear rise compared with previous years. This is due, in large part, to natural increase, i.e. a net surplus of births (the fertility rate - on average 1.9 children per female - is well above the European average) over deaths, which have in turn fallen sharply.
However, another factor in this increase in the French population is the growth of immigration which, having been declared to be falling in earlier years, was suddenly reassessed in a somewhat surprising fashion.
Alain Parant, reviewing the latest available data, explains how this famous net immigration figure is "calculated" and criticizes the obvious inconsistencies between the various sets of available data, as they can vary by as much as 100% over the period 1990-2003.
Although he does not challenge the fundamentals of the French data collection service, nor indeed the new census methods, he does stress the scale of the gaps in the system for investigating demographic change. He illustrates his argument with four examples: the uncertainty surrounding the increases in healthy life expectancy; the lack of figures on voluntary abortions; the highly regrettable decision to abandon the survey of geographical mobility and social integration (MGIS), even though it was extremely useful in analysing what happened to immigrants and their children who were born in France; lastly, the lack of any satisfactory means of measuring migration flows within the country.
Are these lacunae the result of financial restrictions imposed on the statistical services or are there other, less admissible reasons? The author is concerned, rightly stressing the value of reliable population data and the unfortunate consequences of not knowing what is really going on.

Forum

Économie, emploi - Population

The French Population in 2004. Beware of Optical Illusions!

A specialist in land-use planning, Jean-Paul Lacaze examines the figures from the 2004 French population census - carried out in a new way - which were published at the beginning of 2005. He recalls Alfred Sauvy's warnings about the optical illusions that can arise from looking at annual variations rather than absolute numbers, and points out that the regions which are classed as the most attractive in population terms differ depending on the method used to rank them.
When the absolute numbers are considered, the area of France that attracts the largest inflow of population is the Île-de-France (the Paris region), closely followed by Rhône-Alpes, and then much further behind are Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur and Languedoc-Roussillon. But if the ranking is based on the annual rate of change between 1999 and 2003, the order is Languedoc-Roussillon followed by Midi-Pyrénées, Aquitaine and Rhône-Alpes.
As always, how you interpret statistics, when they are available, depends on the spectacles you wear when you look at them.

Revue

Population

The Thrills of Misery. Review of Frank Schirrmacher's Book, Das Methusalem-Komplott

Ulrich Beck, the well-known German sociologist and expert on risk, wrote a review in the last issue for 2004 of the journal Foreign Policy of a book that has been highly controversial in Germany. Das Methusalem-Komplott (Munich: Karl Blessing Verlag, 2004, 200 pp.), by Frank Schirrmacher, is one of the many books published in Germany calling for a major reform of the country and warning its citizens of its imminent decline.
Like France, which was given similar warnings of decline in 2004, the threat for Germany comes from an ageing population and its economic and social consequences. The problem is that, if Germany sneezes, the whole of Europe could catch cold and remain sick for a long time. In fact, the question of Germany's possible decline - which Ulrich Beck analyses very clearly here - is a concern not just for the Germans and cannot be sorted out at the national level alone, as Frank Schirrmacher argues. As Ulrich Beck says, the country's salvation and that of the whole European Union lies in opening up to cultural diversity and not in fostering fear and intergenerational or intercultural conflicts.

Bibliography

Entreprises, travail - Population

Trends Now Shaping the Future : Economic, Societal, and Environmental Trends

La société de conseil Forecasting International suit depuis longtemps les grandes tendances du monde contemporain. Son président, Martin Cetron, et Owen Davies, journaliste scientifique, résument dans cet article les changements à l'oeuvre dans les domaines économique, social, démographique et environnemental, en les illustrant de faits qu'ils jugent significatifs, et en en dégageant les implications pour les décideurs. Ainsi, après avoir rappelé les projections de population mondiale du Census Bureau, ils avancent l'idée que celles-ci sous-estiment peut-être la ...

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Revue

Institutions - Population - Société, modes de vie

No More Smacking?

Futures studies should not be content merely with conducting high-level "macro" analyses but should also be concerned with revealing trends that affect people as individuals. It is therefore extremely important to be able to develop foresight techniques related to everyday life, so as to highlight via particular facts or ideas the changes taking place in the way we live and what they reveal. This article by Julien Damon is a perfect example of such an effort to apply foresight to daily life. It looks at an apparently banal topic - smacking - and shows how modern attitudes to smacking reflect a real shift in approaches to bringing up children and in respect for their rights and freedoms.
The author begins with a brief survey of laws against corporal punishment of children in different countries. He outlines the debates on this issue that stirred up public opinion in Canada and the United Kingdom, and then discusses the French situation.
He goes on to present the arguments used by those in favour of anti-smacking legislation, especially in the United States and France. He notes the growth of a major lobby in France to alert parliamentarians to the problem of corporal punishment within the family.
Finally, Damon argues that this mobilization of opinion reflects major changes in society and in the family: although corporal punishment has clearly been on the decline for several decades, there is now a move to prohibit it by law. Beyond the debate about authority versus liberty, it is also a matter of whether people want a society based on trust or on legal norms.

Bibliography

Population - Société, modes de vie

Les Français et le logement : bouleversements de la démographie et de la famille. Quels choix pour demain ?

Dans cette étude réalisée par les chercheurs du CRETEIL (Centre de recherche sur l'espace, les transports, l'environnement et les institutions locales) et de l'Institut d'urbanisme de Paris, il est question des impacts de l'éclatement de la famille et du vieillissement de la population sur les choix résidentiels des ménages. L'augmentation de la fréquence des divorces (qui concernent aujourd'hui près d'un tiers des mariages), la croissance du nombre de ménages monoparentaux (8 % de ...

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Bibliography

Population - Recherche, sciences, techniques

Alternative Scenarios for Health, Life Expectancy and Social Expenditure

Ce rapport de recherche de l'ENEPRI analyse les conséquences socio-économiques du vieillissement de la population, et étudie l'éventuel développement de soins médicaux de longue durée susceptibles de répondre aux besoins spécifiques des catégories de population les plus âgées. Deux méthodes de projections différentes ont été utilisées pour évaluer l'augmentation, à l'horizon 2050, du nombre d'hospitalisations, de visites médicales, de soins intensifs dans les pays suivants : Belgique, Danemark, France, Allemagne, Pays-Bas, Espagne et Royaume-Uni. Dans la ...

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Bibliography

Population

« La population du monde pour les trois siècles à venir : explosion, implosion ou équilibre ? »

Les Nations unies viennent de publier des projections de la population mondiale jusqu'en 2300. Celle-ci continuerait de croître pendant cinquante ans avant de se stabiliser... ou bien d'exploser ou d'imploser, selon que la fécondité se maintient au-dessus du niveau de remplacement des générations ou, à l'inverse, reste durablement en dessous. Mais quel sens peut-on accorder à des projections aussi lointaines ? François Héran explique que cet exercice de démographie-fiction reste utile s'il montre à quelles conditions ...

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Revue

Économie, emploi - Population

Anti-discrimination Efforts in France. What Can Be Learned from the American Experience with Regard to Employment

At the end of November 2004 a report was published in France, produced by Claude Bébéar at the request of the prime minister, on discrimination by firms. In particular, the report showed evidence of undoubted discrimination against foreigners or people of foreign descent with regard to hiring, and it called for a radical change in attitudes.
Michèle Tribalat is a researcher at INED ("Institut national d'études démographiques") and the author of one of the most recent studies to investigate ethnic criteria that provides statistical evidence on the true extent of discrimination in France (1992). She discusses the present position with regard to combating discrimination in this country (against minorities, women, the handicapped, etc.), and shows in particular how much France relies heavily on a "hyperjuridical" and global approach to the problem, being generally content to pass legislation and apply (without great zeal) EU directives. She stresses the lack of any real political will to measure how much discrimination there is: no satisfactory statistical tools exist, not even in employment, which is an area where using existing surveys would, without involving major difficulties, yield studies based on actual figures.
By contrast, the United States - which has been very active in combating discrimination since the 1960s - has been highly pragmatic and this has allowed the Americans to measure what has in fact been happening. Michèle Tribalat presents here, as an example, the way they gather data relating to the employment of women and minorities in American firms, and shows how this could be transposed to France. However, apart from the periodic bursts of interest in this issue, do the French really want to have such statistical information? Are we ready to abandon the current global approach and tackle the problem at a more refined level (employment, housing, etc.)?

Bibliography

Population

Tendances des migrations internationales 2004

Cette publication annuelle analyse les tendances récentes des mouvements et des politiques migratoires dans l'ensemble des pays de l'OCDE et dans quelques pays non membres. Elle comprend une description détaillée des flux, des différents canaux d'immigration et de la diversité des nationalités concernées. Une attention particulière est accordée à l'importance prise par les migrants originaires de Chine et de Russie dans les flux récents. Des approches régionales analysent plus en détail les migrations dans et à ...

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Revue

Population

La population mondiale en 2050

Every two years the Population Division of the UN updates its demographic data and revises its population projections accordingly. The last revision, in 2002, offered several scenarios for developments between now and 2050, based on different hypotheses about fertility and mortality rates and migration (for the analyses by country and region): a "high", a "low" and a "medium" scenario, and one with fertility held constant.
Julien Damon has examined these revised projections for Futuribles. He sets out the methodological problems associated with this type of exercise, and discusses the main trends in population change for the world as a whole as well as the breakdown by major groups (industrialized countries, developing countries, less advanced nations, etc.) and sometimes also projections for individual countries. He has chosen to focus on the medium scenario in order to make the projections more readily comprehensible; nevertheless, it is important to remember that this scenario is not necessarily the most likely, and the reason for providing a variety of projections is to offer a very wide range of possible outcomes (which can be criticized with regard to the underlying hypotheses), and nobody is able to say for certain which one is the most probable.
According to the medium scenario, the world's population will grow from 6.3 billion today to 8.9 billion in 2050. The developing countries are the main contributors to this increase, despite the negative impact of AIDS on population growth in a number of them. The gap between the standard of living in the developed countries compared with that in the poorer countries is therefore likely to widen. The phenomenon of ageing populations in the industrialized countries, especially in Europe, appears to be unavoidable. All of these trends potentially have serious social consequences.

Revue

Économie, emploi - Population

Les sociétés à l’épreuve du vieillissement

Societies Facing an Ageing Population. The Challenge of Employment after 45

A year after France re-embarked on reforming pensions in order to cope with an ageing population and the large numbers of baby boomers who will retire in the next few years, it is a safe bet that nothing will be sorted out as regards the social implications of an ageing population. Indeed, as Anne-Marie Guillemard points out in this article, ageing affects every aspect of life in industrialized countries (ways of working, leisure time, life cycle, etc.), and to carry out a reform of pensions without including a section devoted to employment will not resolve the problem as a whole.
In this article, Anne-Marie Guillemard examines the key issue of employment and, in particular, how the work of older people is handled, comparing the situations in the main industrialized countries. After showing how the activity rates of workers over 45 years of age have changed over the last 30 years in these countries (basically the members of the European Union, the United States and Japan), which brings out clearly the differences in the way that work in the second half of professional life is managed, the author offers a typology of employment and social protection policies and cultural attitudes to age, and she discusses the impact of these institutional arrangements on the activity of older workers - activity which must be increased in an ageing society.
In France and, more generally, continental Europe there is a culture of early withdrawal of older workers from the labour market, which results in lower activity rates and yet does not resolve the problems of unemployment. These countries will need to undergo a real "cultural revolution" if they are to reverse this trend and adopt policies closer to those found in Scandinavia. The author reckons that in fact the Finnish "plan for employment for those over 45" could be taken as a model and would promote lifelong learning and training courses for those in work as well as encouraging older people to work. This would require an interventionist employment policy, drawn up with the agreement of all the social partners concerned, and would mean taking a long-term view of the life cycle with the aim of maintaining people's skills and employability throughout their working lives.

Bibliography

Population

« Transitions in World Population »

Ce rapport actualise l'étude World Population Beyond Six Billion publiée en 1999. Il présente l'évolution de la population mondiale au cours du XXe siècle (surtout sur les 50 dernières années) et les prévisions pour 2050. Allons-nous assister à une explosion démographique ou à une baisse sans précédent de la natalité ? La réponse est complexe du fait de la nette distinction entre les pays selon la croissance ou le déclin de leur population. Si celle des pays développés a ...

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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.