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  • Recent Demographic Developments in France: Fewer Adults Live with a Partner - F. Prioux, M. Mazuy, M. Barbieri
  • Women’s Fertility and Educational Level in France: Evidence from the Annual Census Surveys - E. Davie, M. Mazuy


  • China’s Recent Fertility Decline: Evidence from Reconstructed Fertility Statistics - Z. Zhao, X. Zhang


  • Population Replacement and Migration in Two Spanish Regions during the Twentieth Century - A. del Rey Poveda, M. Cebràn-Villar
  • Correcting for Under-Estimation of Infant Mortality in Moldova - O. Penina, F. Meslé, J. Vallin


Recent Demographic Developments in France: Fewer Adults Live with a Partner
France Prioux, Magali Mazuy, Magali Barbieri

On 1 January 2010, the population of metropolitan France was 62.8 million. It grew more slowly than in 2008 (5.2 per 1,000), owing to a somewhat smaller natural increase. After a three-year decline, the number of foreigners admitted as residents increased slightly in 2008. Immigrants born in Algeria and Morocco now outnumber those from Portugal. The total fertility rate dipped slightly in 2009, but remains very close to 2 children per woman. The mean age at childbearing has reached 30 years. The total abortion rate remained high in 2007 at 0.53 terminations per woman. The age at first induced abortion is decreasing, while the frequency of repeat abortions is on an upward trend. The number of PACSs (civil partnerships) continued to rise in 2009 and, despite fewer marriages, the total number of registered unions is rising. The probability of marriage for never-married persons is still falling. The number of divorces again fell slightly in 2009, but the total divorce rate remains close to 45%. Because of the increase in union terminations, slightly fewer adult men and women were living with a partner in 2006 than in 1999. They more frequently live alone or in single-parent families. Life expectancy at birth started rising again in 2009, after stalling for women in 2008. It is estimated at 77.8 years for men and 84.5 years for women.

Women’s Fertility and Educational Level in France: Evidence from the Annual Census Surveys
Emma Davie, Magali Mazuy

Using data from the French annual census surveys conducted between 2004 and 2009, this article applies the own-children method to analyse women’s fertility with respect to their educational level over the period 2000-2008. About 2.5% of children cannot be matched to their mother, and a shortfall of very young children is observed in the census surveys. For this reason the age-specific fertility rates derived from these surveys are slightly lower than those based on birth records, notably at ages below 30. Fertility varies substantially with educational level. The move to later age at childbearing is observed for all women, particularly those with a low educational level. But the process of entry into motherhood differs between social groups: mean age at first birth according to the census surveys is 25 for low-educated women compared with 30 for those educated to degree level. The latter tend to concentrate their childbearing around age 31, whereas births among the least qualified women are more spread out in time. Low-educated foreign-born women have a higher fertility than their equivalents in the native-born French population, whereas women educated to degree level have broadly similar fertility levels whether born in France or not. Finally, fertility of foreign-born women contributes little - less than 0.1 child per woman - to overall fertility.

China’s Recent Fertility Decline: Evidence from Reconstructed Fertility Statistics
Zhongwei Zhao, Xiaomu Zhang

The study of China’s fertility has been in a strange situation since the early 1990s. On the one hand, more censuses, fertility surveys and annual surveys of population changes have been conducted that should provide sufficient data for detailed investigation of recent fertility decline; on the other hand, key fertility data are increasingly affected by problems of under-registration and internal inconsistency that form an obstacle to such investigations. This is partly due to the fact that while the statistical authority has published some adjusted fertility statistics, it has been rather reluctant to release details of the technique used to make such adjustments since the late 1990s. This study intends to fill some gaps in our understanding of China’s recent fertility changes. It further investigates the inconsistencies in fertility data obtained from various sources, then reconstructs two sets of internally consistent fertility statistics using officially released numbers of births and our revised numbers of births. On the basis of these reconstructed statistics, the paper examines China’s recent fertility decline and addresses a number of related issues. It concludes that while data quality has become a widespread problem, under-registration of some fertility data may not be as severe as that implied by the officially adjusted CBRs or TFRs. A drastic fertility reduction occurred in China in the early 1990s. The TFR, rather than staying at 1.8 as suggested by the government, fell to below 1.7 in the second half of the decade and has further declined to a lower level since then.

Population Replacement and Migration in Two Spanish Regions during the Twentieth Century
Aberto del Rey Poveda, Mar Cebrán-Villar

This short paper analyses population reproduction in two different regions of Spain, Castile-Leon and Madrid, during the twentieth century. Over this period, although the two regions experienced a similar demographic transition in terms of both mortality and fertility, the population of Madrid grew eight-fold (from 0.7 to 6 million) while that of Castile-Leon increased by less than 10% (from 2.3 to 2.5 million). This difference is due mainly to the effect of migration. In order to analyse this process, we used the birth replacement ratio index. This indicator provides two advantages with respect to other methods: first, it is a retrospective indicator that does not assume hypothetical scenarios about the impact of migration on population dynamics; second, it enables us to distinguish the effect of each component, specifically the impact of migration in the generational replacement process. We found that in contexts of very low fertility and very high survival rates, this migration component is the main determinant of the replacement process.

Correcting for Under-Estimation of Infant Mortality in Moldova
Olga Penina, France Meslé, Jacques Vallin

In certain countries of the former Soviet Union, apparent mortality trends are distorted by phases of improvement or deterioration in data quality. In Moldova, the quality of infant mortality statistics improved suddenly in the 1970s, but still poses problems to this day. The change in the 1970s is of particular importance, since by turning their attention to perinatal mortality, the authorities brought to light a more general problem of under-registration of infant deaths. In addition, although Moldova finally adopted the WHO definition of live birth in 2008, a small proportion of neonatal deaths still remains unregistered. This short paper examines infant mortality trends in Moldova since 1945, after correction for this observation bias, and analyses the effect of these corrections on life expectancy.

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