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Population 2019, n° 4
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Population 2019, n° 4

2019

Recent Demographic Trends in France: A European Outlier?

Didier Breton, Magali Barbieri, Nicolas Belliot, Hippolyte d’Albis, Magali Mazuy

Five Years of Same-Sex Marriage in France: Differences Between Male and Female Couples

 Gaëlle Meslay

Separation Among Cohabiting Same-Sex and Different-Sex Couples

Benjamin Marteau

How Inequalities in Academic Performance Evolve in Lower Secondary School in France: A Longitudinal Foll ow-up of Students

Joanie Cayouette-Remblière, Léonard Moulin

Mortality, Fertility, and Population Growth in Historical Tibet

Thomas Spoorenberg


Recent Demographic Trends in France: A European Outlier?

Didier Breton, Magali Barbieri, Nicolas Belliot, Hippolyte d’Albis, Magali Mazuy

On 1 January 2019, the population of France was nearly 67 million (66.99 million), representing 13.1% of the population of the European Union. The year 2018 was marked by a low number of births (759,000) and a number of deaths (614,000) that topped 600,000 for the first time since the Second World War. There was an increase in inflows from third countries whose nationals are required to hold a residence permit to live in France (237,742 people, +9% with respect to 2016). Men increasingly outnumber women in these inflows due to the growing share of predominantly male inflows from Africa and Asia. France has one of Europe’s lowest immigration rates. With a total fertility rate of 1.87 children per woman, France still ranks first in Europe in fertility. The total abortion rate was 0.5 per woman in 2018. The number of PACS unions is gradually catching up with the number of marriages (4 PACS for 5 marriages). The share of same-sex unions remained stable in 2017 (3.1% of all marriages, 3.8% of all PACS unions). Last, life expectancy is still increasing but at a slower pace. It is the highest in Europe for women but not for men, who are in ninth position. While France has an unusually low prevalence of deaths from cardiovascular diseases, the situation is much less favourable for mortality at younger ages, infant mortality in particular.

Five Years of Same-Sex Marriage in France: Differences Between Male and Female Couples

 Gaëlle Meslay

In 2013, France followed in the footsteps of several other European countries by legalizing same-sex marriage. However, there is a lack of information for estimating the proportion and sociodemographic characteristics of same-sex couples who marry. Using civil registration data on marriages, we show that male couples are older and more commonly live in Paris, while female couples more closely resemble different-sex couples, and binational female couples are rarer than binational male couples. These differences clearly reflect gendered variations in the relationship to the institution of marriage and the greater importance of legal issues regarding adoption for lesbians. This work also situates same-sex married couples in relation to cohabiting couples who participated in the French Family and Housing survey, demonstrating certain specific characteristics among married couples.

Separation Among Cohabiting Same-Sex and Different-Sex Couples

Benjamin Marteau

Same-sex couples are one component of the growing diversity of family and partnership situations in Europe. Data from six countries that took part in the Generations and Gender Survey (Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden) were used to analyse the respondents’ partnership histories and the sex of current and previous cohabiting partners. After correcting for the coding errors inherent in this type of survey, a Cox model was used to compare the separation risks of different-sex and same-sex couples. The results show that the unadjusted separation risk for same-sex couples is 2.4 times higher than that for different sex couples, but that this risk decreases after the independent and control variables are included in the model. Marriage and the presence of children, less frequent among same-sex couples, are two key factors that increase the stability of different-sex unions.

How Inequalities in Academic Performance Evolve in Lower Secondary School in France: A Longitudinal Foll ow-up of Students

Joanie Cayouette-Remblière, Léonard Moulin

By focusing separately on social inequalities in academic success and in track orientation, the sociology of education in France tends to overlook inequalities in performance over time. Yet these inequalities are forged throughout the school career. Drawing on a representative sample of students entering the first year of lower secondary school in 2007, this article examines the social inequalities in performance in French and mathematics that develop between the first and last years of lower secondary. We show that differences by social class, gender, and parents’ countries of birth widen during the years in lower secondary school, to the disadvantage of working-class students, boys, and children with parents born in the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa. We study the role of the school environment and show that the decline in performance of children with parents from the Maghreb or sub-Saharan Africa can be explained by their over-representation in compensatory education schools, their less frequent retention in the private sector, and their concentration in the Paris region. We find that the school environment does little to explain the widening of the gap between social classes and between boys and girls.

Mortality, Fertility, and Population Growth in Historical Tibet

Thomas Spoorenberg

Little is known about Tibet’s population development before 1950. Because of this lack of data, claims of a decline or an increase in the Tibetan population remain heavily influenced by political considerations. According to two studies based on local data, demographic characteristics in Tibetan villages before the 1950s would have favoured a small population increase. This analysis examines whether the evidence for the whole Tibetan population in China supports a similar conclusion. Prior to 1950, around 4 out of 10 Tibetan children would die before reaching age 5, corresponding to a life expectancy at birth of about 32 years. Fertility oscillated between 4.5 and 5.0 children per woman. The combination of these demographic estimates shows that the level of fertility was sufficient to overcome the potential for high mortality to cause a population decline. The demographic evidence examined for the whole Tibetan population in China supports the view that the Tibetan population was increasing before 1950 and corroborates the conclusions based on local data.