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The Demographic Situation in France

Recent Demographic Trends in France: The Number of Marriages Continues to Decrease

Magali Mazuy, Magali Barbieri, Hippolyte d’Albis

A Steady Number of Induced Abortions, but Fewer Women are Concerned

Magali Mazuy, Laurent Toulemon, Élodie Baril

 Detailed abortion statistics in France website

Articles

  • Estimating Age at First Union in Africa. Are Census and Survey Data Comparable? 

Véronique Hertrich, Solène Lardoux

  • Fertility and Schooling in Ouagadougou: The Role of Family Networks 

Moussa Bougma, Laure Pasquier-Doumer, Thomas K. LeGrand, Jean-François Kobiané

 

Short Papers

  • A Period Total Fertility Rate with Covariates for Short-Panel Data

Gustavo De Santis, Sven Drefahl, Daniele Vignoli

  • Fertility Levels and Trends in North Korea

Thomas Spoorenberg

 

Book Reviews

Recent Demographic Trends in France: The Number of Marriages Continues to Decrease

Magali Mazuy, Magali Barbieri, Hippolyte d’Albis

On 1 January 2014, the population of France was 66 million (of which 63.9 million in metropolitan France), an increase of 0.42% with respect to the previous year. In 2012, 180,000 residence permits were issued to immigrants from countries outside the European Economic Area, a majority of these to women. Half of the permits were issued for family reasons, and a quarter for education. Fertility decreased slightly, to 1.99 children per woman. As the proportion of women of reproductive age in the population also fell and the total population increased, this fertility decline was associated with a decrease in the birth rate in 2013. After a slight increase in 2012, the number of marriages fell once again: according to provisional data, 231,000 marriages were registered in 2013. Marriage was opened to same-sex couples on 17 May 2013, and 7,000 same-sex marriages were registered between May and December 2013. A total of 168,000 PACS (civil unions) were registered in 2013. The number of deaths in 2013 is provisionally estimated at 572,000, and in metropolitan France the number surpassed 560,000. Women’s life expectancy was 85.0 years and that of men was 78.7 years, a gap of 6.3 years, down slightly with respect to 2012.

 

A Steady Number of Induced Abortions, but Fewer Women are Concerned

Magali Mazuy, Laurent Toulemon, Élodie Baril

The number of induced abortions in France is fairly stable, at about 210,000 a year. The total abortion rate in 2011 was 0.53 abortions per woman during her lifetime. Recourse to abortion rises between ages 18 and 25 (the increase among under-18s recorded in 1995-2005 has slowed) and falls after age 25. The raising of the legal limit from 10 to 12 weeks of pregnancy in 2001 led to an increase in the mean gestational age at abortion, but since 2002, it has resumed its downward trend as medical abortions have become more widespread (55% of induced abortions in 2011). The proportion of first abortions continues to fall, as does the proportion of women who ever have an abortion: according to the 2011 rates, one woman in three has an abortion at some time in her life. After a first abortion, the probability of having another increases; it stood at 41% in 2011, compared with 28% in 2002 and 18% in 1990. In 2002, the probability of having an abortion did not correlate with previous abortion history, whereas by 2011 the probability of a repeat abortion was higher than that of a first abortion. More so than ten years ago, certain women find themselves in a situation of seeking abortion at various points in their lives.

 

Estimating Age at First Union in Africa. Are Census and Survey Data Comparable?

Véronique Hertrich, Solène Lardoux

This article considers whether survey and census data offer comparable bases for estimating trends in women’s age at marriage in Africa. It uses the indicator of median age at first marriage calculated from the proportion of never-married women by age. It draws upon two bodies of data: first, a pan-African nuptiality database is used to assess differences between estimates drawn from the two types of source at the scale of the whole continent (453 censuses and national surveys undertaken since 1950 in the 55 countries of Africa); and second, data from 15 MICS surveys which record marital status twice (each respondent is included on both a household and an individual questionnaire) are analysed to pinpoint inconsistencies. The median age at first marriage is generally higher when estimated from census data than from survey data. Several error mechanisms combine to create this effect. In censuses, imprecise recording of marital status leads to overestimation of numbers nevermarried, and therefore to overestimation of median age at marriage. In surveys, meanwhile, the tendency to underestimate young women’s age, thereby excluding a disproportionate number from the survey sample of women aged 15-49, and the less thorough coverage of never-married women lead to under-representation of those never-married and therefore to underestimation of age at marriage. This analysis does not suggest that one type of source should be preferred over the other, but rather that neither source should be neglected.

 

Fertility and Schooling in Ouagadougou: The Role of Family Networks

Moussa Bougma, Laure Pasquier-Doumer, Thomas K. LeGrand, Jean-François Kobiané

The importance of family solidarity networks is routinely cited in the literature to explain why the relationship between number of children and schooling in sub-Saharan Africa does not follow the predicted theoretical pattern. The dilemma between "quantity" and "quality" of children may be less acute for parents if they can foster out their children to the extended family, or receive monetary support from them to pay for schooling costs. However, there has been little empirical exploration of this hypothesis due to a lack of suitable data. Drawing on an original dataset (Ouagadougou Health and Demographic Surveillance Systems, Demtrend 2012 retrospective survey), this study uses logistic regression models to study the combined effect of family networks and number of siblings on schooling of children in suburban districts of Ouagadougou. The findings show that large families more frequently receive support from family networks for schooling than smaller ones. Moreover, family networks are able to offset the negative effect of large family size on school enrolment, but only for a part of the population, the poorest being excluded.

 

A Period Total Fertility Rate with Covariates for Short-Panel Data

Gustavo De Santis, Sven Drefahl, Daniele Vignoli

Hoem and Muresan (2011a) have recently shown that the most widely used macro-level indicator of fertility, the total fertility rate (TFR), can be reconciled with fertility estimates that derive from applications of event history analysis (EHA) to micro-data. The purpose of this paper is to extend their ideas and show that they can be usefully applied to short panels, i.e. when the same people are interviewed in two or more successive rounds over a very limited number of years. This method can also be applied to data collected for general purposes and not strictly for demographic research, including data of an economic nature (employment, income, geographic or professional mobility, etc.). Despite the absence of questions on fertility, group-specific fertility estimates can be obtained that are not otherwise available (e.g. fertility by income level before the birth of the child), which are not biased by memory or selection of respondents and can be made consistent with the TFR observed in that period for the entire population. An application to Italian EU-SILC data in the years 2004-2007 highlights the advantages and the limitations of the method.

 

Fertility Levels and Trends in North Korea

Thomas Spoorenberg

This short paper contributes additional evidence to the existing body of knowledge on demographic changes in North Korea by studying fertility levels and trends over the last three decades. Using as many estimates of total fertility as possible derived from various data sources (censuses, sample surveys and vital registration system) and computed using diverse estimation methods, we show that the demographic data from North Korea are remarkably consistent for the study of fertility. Total fertility in North Korea declined from about 3.0 children per woman in 1980 to about 2.0 in 1998 and remained around that level until 2008. This paper also provides original empirical evidence about what happened to fertility during the tumultuous period between the mid-1990s and the early 2000s in North Korea.