Population 2005 n°5/6
Demography of the world’s regions: situation and trends
- The Demography of the Arab World and the Middle East from the 1950s to the 2000s. A Survey of Changes and a Statistical Assessment - D. Tabutin, B. Schoumaker
- Age Difference between Spouses and Contraceptive Practice in Sub-Saharan Africa - M. Barbieri, V. Hertrich
- Adult Migrant Mortality Advantage in Belgium: Evidence Using Census and Register Data - P. Deboosere, S. Gadeyne
- The preferred burial location of persons born outside France - C. Attias-Donfut, F.-C. Wolff
The Demography of the Arab World and the Middle East from the 1950s to the 2000s A Survey of Changes and a Statistical Assessment
Dominique Tabutin, Bruno Schoumaker
Focusing on North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East (20 countries, 420 million inhabitants), this chronicle examines the major socio-demographic and health transformations in the region since the 1950s and provides a statistical summary of the most reliable recent data for each country. It includes data on population size and structure, fertility and its intermediate variables, nuptiality, mortality, child health, migration and population displacements. Though the region’s socio-demographic and health transitions began later than elsewhere, they have generally been quite rapid. Most countries have already entered a reproduction system characterized by relatively low mortality, increasingly controlled fertility and late marriage. The changes are radical in the three Maghreb countries and Iran; they are slower in Saudi Arabia and Egypt for example, and still very limited in other countries such as Yemen. This diversification of national demographic systems is accompanied by large social or geographical disparities within countries. International migration is another major phenomenon that has shaped the region’s recent history, with migration to the Gulf states and Israel and emigration towards Europe in particular. Urbanization is continuing, though at a pace which varies between countries. Despite major progress in the region, access to education and illiteracy still pose problems in many countries.
Age Difference between Spouses and Contraceptive Practice in Sub-Saharan Africa
Magali Barbieri, Véronique Hertrich
Sub-Saharan Africa is characterized by record levels of fertility. The region also exhibits the largest age difference between spouses, a proxy for conjugal distance and gender inequalities. The present article investigates the possible relationship between both phenomena: are the high levels of fertility related to large age differences between spouses? Does the relationship vary with individual characteristics? Is its strength related to the stage of the demographic transition reached by the country or by mating patterns?
The data used for the study is a set of recent Demographic and Health Surveys in eighteen countries of mainland sub-Saharan Africa. The statistical relationship between age differences between spouses and contraceptive practice is tested using logistic regression models controlling for both individual and contextual variables. The main finding is that the largest age differences between spouses (15 years and over) are associated with low contraceptive use, probably because a large difference reflects women’s reduced decision-making power and a weak marital bond. Other results show the significant impact of community characteristics on the relationship.
Adult Migrant Mortality Advantage in Belgium: Evidence Using Census and Register Data
Patrick Deboosere, Sylvie Gadeyne
There have been consistent reports in several countries that some adult migrant populations tend to have lower mortality than the host population despite a lower socioeconomic status. The most frequently proposed hypotheses for this paradox are selection mechanisms, dietary intake variations and cultural or lifestyle factors.
Belgium is well suited to explore these explanations thanks to the presence of large migrant communities and the existence of a national population register. The present analysis compares cause-specific mortality patterns for the largest migrant communities (Italian, Spanish, Moroccan and Turkish) with those of migrants from neighbouring countries with a similar lifestyle and dietary intake as the Belgian population.
Cause-specific mortality is an important clue for explaining the diversity of health outcomes. The mortality patterns of migrant communities and the native Belgian population were analysed by decomposition techniques and multinomial logistic regressions. The study of cause-specific mortality by subpopulations is useful for identifying factors that make some populations healthier than others. The reasons for the paradox appear to be multifactorial, resulting from a combination of lifestyle, dietary intake variations and the health infrastructure of the host country.
The preferred burial location of persons born outside France
Claudine Attias-Donfut, François-Charles Wolff
The question of the burial location preferences of immigrants in France and of their determinants is examined using the results of a national survey of retirement among the French immigrant population (PRI survey) conducted in 2003. The survey was conducted on a random sample, taken from the population census, of 6,278 persons aged between 45 and 70, born outside France to non-French parents. Three profiles were identified: persons preferring burial in France, those preferring burial in the home country and those with no preference, because they are either indifferent or undecided. The results reveal a stronger preference for burial in the home country among persons from Africa and among Muslims, while highlighting the multiple factors underlying such preferences.