Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
En 1960, le monde comptait une population de trois milliards d'habitants augmentant à un rythme de 2 % par an, remettant d'actualité les prédictions de Malthus selon lesquelles la croissance de la population dépasserait celle de la production agricole. Quarante ans plus tard, la population mondiale a doublé, mais la production agricole a crû encore plus vite. Cependant, plus d'un huitième de la population est sous-alimenté. Il apparaît de plus en plus évident que la question n'est ...
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Les tendances démographiques récentes en Russie sont préoccupantes : depuis 1992, les décès y sont plus nombreux que les naissances, le taux de fécondité est devenu le plus bas du monde, la mortalité (liée principalement à l'alcoolisme) augmente et le fort taux d'avortement pose de graves problèmes de santé. Selon les auteurs, cette situation est le résultat de tendances de long terme aggravées par la stagnation économique et les changements politiques et sociaux récents. Ils arrivent à la conclusion ...
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La structure sociale américaine des 50 dernières années a été marquée par un grand retournement : la tendance d'édification de l'État-providence et d'égalisation qui a caractérisé la période 1950-1970, se renverse à partir de cette date. Depuis 30 ans, et sans rupture depuis la reprise de 1992, les fruits de la croissance économique bénéficient à une fine élite sociale, les classes moyennes sont clairement écartelées entre une partie promise à l'enrichissement et une autre qui se paupérise ...
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L'examen des tendances à l'oeuvre dans la " seconde moitié " du XXe siècle montre comment l'idéal nord-américain de la famille, la famille nucléaire, est aujourd'hui en transition. Alors qu'il reste un modèle de référence dans l'imaginaire (relayé par la publicité, le cinéma, la littérature...), la réalité est tout autre. Le travail des femmes, leur désir d'indépendance, les conditions assouplies du divorce, la désaffection des jeunes couples pour le mariage et la reconnaissance des couples ...
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In the United States, the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago has regularly carried out surveys of changing social behaviour and values since 1972. These data are the basis for the main trends presented here, relating to changes in attitudes to the family and family values: cohabiting, marriage, divorce, fertility, bringing up children, and employment for parents...
Several major trends emerge from this overview, such as the decline of marriage and the increase in divorce, the increase in births outside marriage and in the numbers of one-parent families, the growth in numbers of women working and the relative decline in neighbourly relationships. However, some of the sharply rising trends, such as in divorce rates, are starting to slow down. Furthermore, the international comparisons presented here seem to show that, while there is no longer a single model for the family, the United States' example cannot be taken as typical of what may happen in future.
Over the last 30 years France has witnessed a sharp rejection of the institution of marriage, with people marrying less often and later (30 % of men and women now in their 30s will never marry). This new and lasting decline in marriage rates, Patrick Festy argues, has no historical precedent and is the result of deep-seated factors that are sufficiently stable for it to be likely that the trend will continue.
The baby boom of the period 1945-1965, Festy reminds us, was accompanied by a marriage boom that strengthened the links between marriage and fertility and the insistence on the need for children to grow up within marriage. Since then radical changes have occurred, with fewer marriages and a decline in fertility, despite the doubling of births outside marriage, which are now estimated to run at 300 000 per year (60 % of these seem not to be legitimated).
Comparative studies show that while most countries of northern Europe are experiencing similar trends with regard to marriage as in France, the changes in southern Europe are somewhat different. Fertility rates in central and southern Europe have fallen more sharply than elsewhere in Europe, and the decline in marriages (and therefore in legitimate births) has not been offset by an increase in births outside marriage.
From the economic angle, Festy points out, the relative financial and material advantages that marriage used to offer one or other spouse are less and less important, and the increase in the numbers of women in paid work makes the effects of divorce even worse. Changes in the law, he adds, have very little impact on marriage and fertility rates.
The introduction in France at the end of 1999 of the Civil Solidarity Pact (which recognises a wider range of long-term, stable relationships) raises new issues yet, according to Festy, "it may not have a huge impact on the evolution of marriage". In conclusion, he adds, "the decline of marriage is an element in a larger shift that is still under way, and which could lead to a revival of the family based on altered relationships between the sexes and the generations".
In France, after several earlier initiatives that had varying degrees of success, a new scheme for youth employment led to the creation of more than 200 000 jobs in 1999 in areas such as work in the community, culture, sports and the environment. The contracts are full-time for five years, with substantial subsidies for the employers. The scheme has made it possible to meet a wide range of unsatisfied needs. Nevertheless, as the Futurouest agency stresses in its evaluation, several problems remain, such as how to reduce the bias towards service jobs, how to avoid under-using the young people's skills, how to increase the number of jobs suitable for those with secondary vocational qualifications [certificat d'aptitude professionnelle (CAP) and brevet d'études professionnelles (BEP)], and how to increase the involvement of the private sector.
Futurouest suggests three possible scenarios for the future of these "new services-new jobs":
- to extend the contracts beyond the current five years, and accept some drawbacks: the risk of jobholders being overqualified, low pay and disappointing career prospects;
- the scheme gradually declines in the long run: after its initial success, the scale of job creation falls steadily and ultimately fails as a result of financial problems and the lack of candidates - job holders quit because they find they are overqualified and because of the absence of long-term training;
- finally, the desirable scenario, in which the youth employment scheme, in competition with other forms of employment, causes the hopes for the future to come true and so gives rise to new patterns of entrepreneurial behaviour: new jobs for young people are created in the private sector providing services to firms and services in the community, as was repeatedly suggested in the mid 1990s.
Some people think that bringing in foreign workers would be a way of overcoming the threatened shortage of skilled labour; for others, it would remedy the effects of an ageing population and the widening gap between those of working age and those in retirement.
The Population Division of the United Nations has in fact just produced a range of scenarios intended to shed light on how many immigrants would be needed by eight countries in order to maintain in the long term (to 2050) either their current numbers in work, or their economically active population, or else to stabilize the relationship between active and retired people (aged 65 and over).
Alain Parant reviews the results if these forecasts, which show, for example, that between now and 2050, France might need to bring in between 5.4 million and 93.7 million immigrants, while South Korea would need between 6.4 million and 5.1 billion immigrants! He argues that there is likely to be fierce competition to attract these immigrants... Above all, however, resorting to immigration - no matter how desirable this may be - cannot be a panacea for a shortage of labour, and even less a means of compensating for an ageing population.
Today, the wealth of nations and their political influence depend on their human capital. Yet in Russia, the health of the workforce has seen a serious and lasting decline which is extremely worrying, according to Nicholas Eberstadt.
He bases his argument on an analysis of the state of health of the Russian population, in particular the mortality rates. He shows that the rate, for all ages and both sexes, has worsened considerably in recent years, mainly as a result of cardiovascular disease and "accidents and other forms of violent death", frequently caused by alcohol abuse.
N. Eberstadt recognizes that mortality rates have risen in other countries too at certain times (e.g. Spain, west Germany, Japan), but these were temporary peaks, usually connected with wars, and were immediately followed by major improvements.
In Russia, however, the situation is quite different: we are seeing a long-term trend that is not related to any particular accidental occurrence, and Eberstadt therefore doubts whether it can be rapidly reversed. On the contrary, he foresees this leading to an economic and political decline in the medium and long term in the Russian Federation.
The French Economic and Social Council has just produced a report, overseen by Chantal Lebatard, on "The social and demographic outlook for France to 2020-2040" which marks a great step forward in its analysis of the social and economic issues that may arise in the medium and long term as the result of an ageing population. The report is remarkable because:
- the study is based on far more daring population forecasts than those normally used by INSEE (the National Statistical Office); they are probably closer to the real range of possible futures;
- the simulation is based on a neo-classical growth model that makes it possible to test quite a wide range of hypotheses;
- the exercise is not confined to examining the future of pensions but looks more generally at the impact on the social security system as a whole.
In his summary of the report, Charles du Granrut first reviews the hypotheses and the results of population projections, which confirm the inexorable increase in the population aged 60 and over. He then goes on to explore the hypotheses and main results of the economic simulations, especially for GDP and employment. Finally, having described the chosen hypotheses, he outlines some of the potential social and economic impacts of ageing on the social protection system (health, pensions, family support...).
This exercise is a useful addition to the studies conducted so far, which mostly concentrate on pensions. It highlights the obvious - a high level of growth would make the adjustments easier - but also stresses that the scope of problems nevertheless remains daunting.
Ce troisième volume recense les études prospective en rapport avec l'Afrique, en premier lieu les perspectives mondiales ayant des incidences sur ce continent, et ensuite les exercices nationaux menés dans certains pays. La deuxième partie rassemble les travaux de prospective sectorielle sur l'Afrique, dans les domaines tels que l'agriculture, la démographie, la santé, et l'économie.
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.