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  • Central Population Registers as a Source of Demographic Statistics in Europe - Michel Poulain, Anne Herm
  • Out-Migration of Immigrants in Spain - Gemma Larramona
  • Widowhood and Remarriage in Sardinia, 1866-1925 - Stanislao Mazzoni, Marco Breschi, Massimo Esposito, Lucia Pozzi
  • The Effect of Mortality Shocks on the Age-Pattern of Adult Mortality - Virginia Zarulli


  • Child Labour in Madagascar as Evidenced by the 2008 Demographic and Health Survey - Valérie Delaunay


Central Population Registers as a Source of Demographic statistics in Europe

Michel Poulain, Anne Herm

Since their origins in seventeenth-century Sweden, population registers have been kept at local level, and computerization has now made it possible to establish national registers in most of the 30 European countries analysed in this article. As a result of these registers, the production of demographic statistics has entered a new era, with many advantages but also ethical controversies. New questions arise, such as the definition of residents, double counting and data confidentiality. This article describes and compares the operational principles of central registers in various countries, and how individual data are extracted in order to produce demographic statistics. It is now possible to regularly monitor the individual demographic trajectories of the entire population at national level, and to reveal interactions between the demographic behaviours of individuals in a single household. Given the many opportunities afforded by longitudinal analysis, support from researchers would be particularly beneficial, and efforts must be made to facilitate access to individual data.

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Out-Migration of Immigrants in Spain

Gemma Larramona

Almost 5% of immigrants residing in Spain took the decision to leave the country in 2009. Spain has recently become a receiving country for international immigrants and the phenomenon of out-migration of this type is on the rise. However, not all out-migration involves a return to the country of origin. The aim of this paper is to provide some insights into the analysis of out-migration of Spanish immigrants, classifying it as either return or non-return out-migration, for the period 2002-2009. The effects of the available socio-demographic variables, and certain destination and origin variables of the migrants, on the probability of a return outflow of Spanish immigrants are analysed. The main results are that Asian, African and Latin-American out-migrants residing in Spain have lower probabilities of returning to their birth country. At the same time, an increase in GDP per capita in the destination country or an increase in the unemployment rate of the origin region increases the probability of non-return out-migration, which is usually more motivated by economic factors than return migration. Additionally, the greater the share of migrants in the population of the region of residence, the greater the probability that out-migrants will return home.

Widowhood and Remarriage in Sardinia, 1866-1925

Stanislao Mazzoni, Marco Breschi, Massimo Esposito, Lucia Pozzi

This paper focuses on remarriage in Sardinia from the years following national unification (1861) until the first decades of the twentieth century. The marriage pattern on the island was different from the one that predominated in Italy. As early as the High Middle Ages, marriage was celebrated within the context of a distinctive property and inheritance regime, and Sardinian women played an important role in the management of the family and its economic resources. They were often included in the inheritance system. In the light of Sardinian peculiarities, the region represents an interesting setting for the study of nuptial dynamics and in particular of remarriage in a historical context. Our research is based on a micro analytic approach, using individual data, and focuses on the community of Alghero, a north-western coastal Sardinian town. The analysis is longitudinal, based on a complex individual dataset resulting from the integration of civil and religious sources. Our principal aim is to identify the socio-demographic characteristics of widow(er)s and to observe closely which individual and contextual characteristics led them to rebuild their families. The study of second marriages in Alghero provides an opportunity for detailed analysis of family recomposition dynamics in a Mediterranean community.

The Effect of Mortality Shocks on the Age-Pattern of Adult Mortality

Virginia Zarulli

This article aims to investigate the effect of sudden changes in external conditions on human mortality levels and age-patterns. Although several studies have analysed shocking events such as famines or deportations, a systematic assessment of the effect of the shock on the rate of mortality increase by age is missing. In the case of a shock, three scenarios may occur: mortality may be raised proportionally at all ages, more at older ages, or more at younger ages. Two cases of natural mortality experiments were analysed: Australian civilian prisoners in a Japanese camp during the Second World War and the Ukrainian Famine of 1933. The death rates of the prisoners of war were higher during imprisonment but the slope of the curve appeared to resemble that of the normal mortality regime. During the Ukrainian Famine, by contrast, the mortality curves in the different famine years were raised but the increase was smaller at old ages, resulting in different slopes. When mortality increases less at older ages, the evidence that selection could be the underlying mechanism appears to be weak and inconclusive. However, as other mechanisms could lead to similar patterns, more cases of natural morality experiments need to be analysed and more evidence collected.

Child Labour in Madagascar as Evidenced by the 2008 Demographic and Health Survey

Valérie Delaunay

In Africa today, children may be sent to live with non-relative for employment reasons. This short paper proposes a measure based on data from the 2008-2009 Demographic and Health Survey in Madagascar to identify children living with non-relatives and not attending school who are liable to be engaged in child labour. In Madagascar, children may move between family households, but may also be sent to live outside the family for economic reasons. We postulate that the models of child placement for economic reasons are gender-based and linked to geographic location. The results show that 1.4% of children aged 6-17 are in this situation. Two profiles can be identified: girls engaged in child labour tend to work in towns in households with high socioeconomic status, while boys work in areas with strong demand for farm labour. The authors make recommendations for improving data collection and suggest that surveys of child maids and farm labourers be conducted to identify harmful situations, to understand the processes whereby children become engaged in child labour (origin, means deployed), and to find out more about these children’s outcomes.

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