№ 594, November 2021
International migration: what is measured (and what is not)
Cris Beauchemin, Caron Louise, Haddad Marine, Temporal Franck
Among the events contributing to population dynamics, international
migration is the most difficult to capture. Most countries do not
have the tools to produce regular statistics. Definitions and measurement
methods may vary from country to country. Since the early 2000s,
international organizations such as the United Nations and the European
Union have been promoting more standardized approaches that allow
comparisons to be made. Whatever the indicator used, France appears
to be one of the countries with the lowest immigration in Western
№ 595, December 2021
World’s Highest Childlessness Levels in East Asia
In recent decades, most economically developed East Asian countries
have experienced extremely low fertility levels as well as high
and rising childlessness. In Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, about
3 out of 10 women born in the mid-1970s remain permanently childless.
This phenomenon is closely associated with the decline in marriage
and the rise of lifetime singlehood, and with more married women
remaining without children. Among women born in the 1960s and 1970s,
rising childlessness accounts for about two-thirds of cohort fertility
decline in Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea. Future childlessness
trends will also depend on the way East Asian societies adapt to
the ‘gender revolution’ and changing family patterns.
Key factors include greater gender equality, a greater focus on
well-being among children and families, better economic prospects
for young adults, and labour market reform to ensure women no longer
have to choose between career and motherhood.
№ 596, January 2022
China’s New Three-Child Policy: What Effects Can We Expect?
In 2021, China amended its Population and Family Planning Law for
the second time in an attempt to increase the birth rate by permitting
couples to have three children. This recent amendment ends nearly
50 years of strict control over births.
However, these new family planning measures may fail to boost fertility
in the short term. Allowing a third child may have little effect
in the short term given that having a third child involves already
having had a first one, then a second.
The new policy will not change the individual aspirations of young
adults. Spending longer in education (especially for women), seeking
personal development (which now takes precedence over the desire
to start a family), and gender inequality are all factors that may
explain why young people are getting married later and later and
having fewer and fewer children.
№ 597, February 2022
Continued population ageing in France over the next half century
Laurent Toulemon, Élisabeth Algava, Nathalie Blanpain,
According to INSEE projections published in 2021, the population
of France will range between 58 million and 79 million in 2070,
with a baseline scenario of 68 million. The baseline projection
forecasts a population that is older than today’s, and that
will decrease slightly from 2044 onwards, whereas previous projections
assumed continued growth. A surplus of deaths over births would
no longer be offset by positive net migration. The new projections
differ greatly from those of 2016, which had projected a population
in 2070 of 76 million. The significant difference is due to the
downward revisions of the size of the population in 2021 and to
changes in the fertility, life expectancy, and migration assumptions.