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  #1  
Old Posted Oct 11, 2007, 3:40 PM
brisavoine brisavoine is offline
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France & Germany fertility rates compared

Behind new construction projects, there's the growth of cities, and behind the growth of cities, there's the general growth of a country's population.

On Wikipedia I found a fascinating map of the German fertility rates in 2003 per Kreis (local districts). So I made a map of French fertility rates per département for the same year to compare with the German map. The contrast between the two most populated countries of the European Union is quite sharp.

Fertility rates 2003
Color codes:
- red: total fertility rate (TFR) under 1.3
- pink: TFR between 1.31 and 1.40
- orange: TFR between 1.41 and 1.50
- yellow: TFR between 1.51 and 1.70
- light green: TFR between 1.71 and 1.90
- dark green: TFR between 1.91 and 2.10
- very dark green: TFR above 2.10. REPLACEMENT OF GENERATIONS ASSURED.



Fertility rates 2004

Here is the French map for 2004, showing an increase of fertility nationwide. I don't have a map for Germany in 2004 unfortunately. In 2005 and 2006 the French fertility rate has increased even more, now reaching an average of 1.98 nationwide (in 2006), but I don't have data per département, so 2004 is the last year I can draw a map.

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  #2  
Old Posted Oct 11, 2007, 7:15 PM
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France is gonna be a bigger nation than Germany if that doesn't change fast.
I have more hope for development in France.
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  #3  
Old Posted Oct 11, 2007, 8:28 PM
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The german goverment has this year approved some laws to icrease fertility rates and now there´s general conscious in Germany about this issue but even if successful, germany will have to wait several years for these measures to take real effect. Anyway, total fertility rates don´t take into account migratory movements which could compensate in germany for the lower fertility. I can hardly imagine france to have more population than germany in the long furuture
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Old Posted Oct 12, 2007, 12:42 AM
brisavoine brisavoine is offline
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I have added the Netherlands and Luxembourg to the map. It's impossible to find the fertility rates of Belgium unfortunately, but from what I understand they are in between the high fertility rates of France and the low fertility rates of Germany.

Fertility rates 2003



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  #5  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2007, 1:49 AM
brisavoine brisavoine is offline
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Originally Posted by flash110 View Post
Anyway, total fertility rates don´t take into account migratory movements which could compensate in germany for the lower fertility.
In the German case, migratory movements don't compensate anymore. It was true in the 1990s when all the Germans from eastern Europe and Russia were relocating to Germany, but since the end of the 1990s almost all of them have already relocated and migration to Germany is now very low (economic migrants go in their majority to Spain, the British Isles, Scandinavia, even Italy, but not Germany).

This is a table comparing the net migration to France and Germany in recent years (figures come from the French and German statistical offices). Net migration is the difference between people moving into the country and people moving out of the country. Note that net migration to France is generaly considered low (compared to Spain or the UK), so that says something about the very low net migration of Germany.

Code:
Net migration   Germany    France
    2003       +142,645   +100,000
    2004        +82,543   +105,000
    2005        +78,953    +95,000
    2006        +25,000    +95,000
Quote:
Originally Posted by flash110 View Post
I can hardly imagine france to have more population than germany in the long furuture
According to the German statistical office, in 2050 Germany will have 68,743,000 inhabitants, assuming there's a net migration of +100,000 every year until 2050, which is more than what's happening at the moment (see migration figures above). If the net migration is only +50,000 every year, then the population of Germany in 2050 will be only about 65 million.

In comparison, according to the French statistical office, in 2050 metropolitan France will have 69,961,000 inhabitants, assuming there's a net migration of +100,000 every year until 2050. Including the overseas departments and territories, then the population of the entire France in 2050 would be about 73.5 million. If the net migration is only +50,000 every year, then the population of metropolitan France in 2050 will be only 66,973,000 and the population of the entire France about 70.5 million.


To sum up these (official) population projections:

Code:
Population in 2050      Germany     Metropolitan France     Entire France
(excl. overseas) (incl. overseas) (mig. +100,000/year) 68,743,000 69,961,000 73,500,000 (mig. +50,000/year) 65,000,000 66,973,000 70,500,000
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  #6  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2007, 9:00 AM
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Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
In the German case, migratory movements don't compensate anymore.
That´s true but migration rates are easier to increase according to the countrie´s necessities. Germany has experienced a low economical growth period from the mid 90´s and early 2000´s, mainly caused by the reunification costs, lower than France, UK and even Italy some years which lowered total fertility rates even more and gradually diminished net migration while France experienced a relatively satisfactory economic growth. Germany´s economical recovery these recent years which increased GDP growth over Italy and France could be a reason of more net migration for the coming years considering that in Germany there´s already an acute shortage of workers for some industry areas. In addition, the large postwar generation which accounts for the major working population in Germany today will retire starting from about 2020 and this will increase the demand for migration even further. On the other hand, measures taken by the german goverment to tackle low fertility will take many years to have a significant effect on total fertility rates. But I agree if population growth in Germany and France continues as it is now, France´s population will surpass germany in some decades.

Last edited by flash110; Oct 12, 2007 at 9:17 AM.
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  #7  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2007, 3:10 PM
brisavoine brisavoine is offline
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Originally Posted by flash110 View Post
Germany has experienced a low economical growth period from the mid 90´s and early 2000´s, mainly caused by the reunification costs, lower than France, UK and even Italy some years which lowered total fertility rates

I don't think that the reason for a low fertility rate is the bad economic situation. There are much deeper reasons for the low fertility of Germany. This low fertility rate has existed for a long time already. Back in the 1970s and 1980s when West Germany was booming, the fertility rate of Germany was already pretty low. Even during the baby boom in the 1960s the fertility rate of Germany was of course higher than now, but still lower than France's or the UK's fertility rate. It's like something has been broken in the German psyche since the Third Reich and the Nazi pro-natalist policies, I don't know.

Here is the German and French fertility rates since 1960 for comparisons.



Quote:
Originally Posted by flash110 View Post
Germany´s economical recovery these recent years which increased GDP growth over Italy and France could be a reason of more net migration for the coming years considering that in Germany there´s already an acute shortage of workers for some industry areas.

That's possible, but then it's surprising that in 2006, which was the best economic year for Germany since the reunification, net migration was at its lowest with only +25,000.

In any case Germany would need to have a crazily high net migration rate just to keep its population at the current level. Like I said, with a net migration of +100,000 per year, Germany will have 68,743,000 inhabitants in 2050. With a net migration of +200,000 per year (which is more than the UK and surpassed only by Spain), Germany would have 73,958,000 inhabitants in 2050 according to the German statistical office. With a net migration of +300,000 per year (which is almost as high as the record net migration to Spain in recent years), Germany would have 78,724,000 inhabitants in 2050.

In other words, in order just to keep its current level of population, Germany would need to have a net migration of almost +400,000 every year until 2050. I don't think German people are ready for that. Immigration at that level for more than 40 years would greatly change the composition of Germany's population. It's doubtful German citizens are ready for the millions of immigrants that this scenario would mean, supposing it's feasible to attract so many immigrants in the first place.
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Old Posted Oct 12, 2007, 4:31 PM
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What's it with the stupid obsession about fertility rates. The earth is overpopulated anyway. If we are able to reduce the human population a bit in the future, everyone will benefit.

The problem is not the population loss, but our outdated social and pension systems where the current working population pays for the current retirees. If we would switch the systems to one where everyone is forced to save up a considerable amount of money for their own pension, the problem would be solved.

It's also no big surprise that France's population will be larger than Germany's in the future, considering it is almost twice the size in land area than Germany.
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  #9  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2007, 4:53 PM
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Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
This low fertility rate has existed for a long time already. Back in the 1970s and 1980s when West Germany was booming, the fertility rate of Germany was already pretty low. Even during the baby boom in the 1960s the fertility rate of Germany was of course higher than now, but still lower than France's or the UK's fertility rate. It's like something has been broken in the German psyche since the Third Reich and the Nazi pro-natalist policies, I don't know.
That´s a fact, unlike France, Germany and the german government specially, has been reluctant to introduce meassures to stimulate population growth since the nazi regime, in contrast, France has been implementing pronatalistic policies since a few decades. But given the enormous impact this demographic change causes to the social system this reluctance has been abandonced by the german goverment in recent years. On the other hand as you correctly pointed, fertility in germany has been lower than france for a long time now and if you compare there´s not a big difference between population growth in both countries the last decades.
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  #10  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2007, 6:21 PM
brisavoine brisavoine is offline
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Originally Posted by R@ptor View Post
The earth is overpopulated anyway.
It depends where. You need to make a distinction. There are areas of the Earth which are already quite crowded...

(dense Flemish countryside)


...and there are other areas of the Earth which can still accomodate a lot of people.

(empty central France)
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  #11  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2007, 6:22 PM
brisavoine brisavoine is offline
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Originally Posted by flash110 View Post
there´s not a big difference between population growth in both countries the last decades.
What do you mean?
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  #12  
Old Posted Oct 13, 2007, 11:26 PM
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The earth being overpopulated?

I believe less than one percent of the entire above-water surface of the world is inhabited by humans. The other 99% is the uninhabited vastness of planet earth. Furthermore, if our food production methods were not as wasteful as they are we could feed our entire population with the current production and have significant reserves for significantly more people. But alas wealthy countries discard about as much as they consume and food production policies in ravaged countries do little to promote mass and affordable food production.
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Old Posted Oct 14, 2007, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike K. View Post
The earth being overpopulated?

I believe less than one percent of the entire above-water surface of the world is inhabited by humans. The other 99% is the uninhabited vastness of planet earth. Furthermore, if our food production methods were not as wasteful as they are we could feed our entire population with the current production and have significant reserves for significantly more people. But alas wealthy countries discard about as much as they consume and food production policies in ravaged countries do little to promote mass and affordable food production.
Today in 2007, the global food production is enough to feed 9 billion people without even changing our food habits. In 2007, we could even product enough to feed 12 billion people but that would mean renouncing to meat production and agricultural production destinated to industries.

The problem of starvation isn't due to overpopulation, it's due to a failing food distribution system. That doesn't mean that capitalism is necessarily the cause of the evil, actually communism has proven itself to suck even more when it goes about food distribution.

But anyway, what should be also understood is that most countries in the world faces a slowing down of their population growth. The world as a whole is already getting in the final stage of the demographic transition. The population should stabilize around 9 billion people in 2050.

Last edited by Metropolitan; Oct 14, 2007 at 11:56 AM.
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Old Posted Oct 14, 2007, 11:43 AM
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I'm happy about this. Germany's way too crowded anyway. A nation of our size (geographically) should only be home to about 50 million people. The less, the merrier.
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Old Posted Oct 14, 2007, 11:53 AM
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Gaah, I hate that kind of population forecasts ("the population of x in 2050...."). Useless.
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  #16  
Old Posted Oct 15, 2007, 9:15 PM
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I'm happy about this. Germany's way too crowded anyway. A nation of our size (geographically) should only be home to about 50 million people. The less, the merrier.
I don´t agree, there´s no natural law which relates the geographical size/location with the population growth/quantity, this is only a stupid speech of some dictators. Germany could easily accommodate over 100 millon inhabitans, there´re areas in central and east germany which are underpopulated and it also depends on urbanization, and the ability of a society to organize their population. Japan for instance has a bunch of millon cities, Germany has too many cities but none of them has more than 10m inhabitans.
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Old Posted Oct 16, 2007, 1:01 PM
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Gaah, I hate that kind of population forecasts ("the population of x in 2050...."). Useless.
Yeah, shouldn't the world have over 7 billion people. by the year 2000?
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Old Posted Oct 21, 2007, 7:17 PM
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I don´t agree, there´s no natural law which relates the geographical size/location with the population growth/quantity, this is only a stupid speech of some dictators. Germany could easily accommodate over 100 millon inhabitans, there´re areas in central and east germany which are underpopulated and it also depends on urbanization, and the ability of a society to organize their population. Japan for instance has a bunch of millon cities, Germany has too many cities but none of them has more than 10m inhabitans.
So? Of course Germany could easily accomodate more people but maybe I don't necessarily want this. I live in Northrhine-Westfalia, the most densely populated state in Germany (aside from the small city states) and I can tell you it isn't exactly the most beautiful one. Seriously, why do we have to fill every nook and cranny of a country with people?
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Old Posted Oct 21, 2007, 9:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
(dense Flemish countryside)
aka Swedish (sub)urban area
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Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
(empty central France)
aka dense Swedish countryside

Like you say, it's all relative, e.g. the official Stockholm metro is less dense than the Netherlands as a whole. Also, population forcasts 40 years into the future is way too much guesswork to be credible. Useing these kind of projections into the future to point out a a current sitation has it's uses but nobody actually thinks this is how things will turn out...
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Old Posted Oct 21, 2007, 11:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swede View Post
Like you say, it's all relative, e.g. the official Stockholm metro is less dense than the Netherlands as a whole. Also, population forcasts 40 years into the future is way too much guesswork to be credible. Useing these kind of projections into the future to point out a a current sitation has it's uses but nobody actually thinks this is how things will turn out...
That's very true. Especially knowing that this thread is based in part on an unexpected raise of the fertility rate in France since 2000. If demography wasn't able to plan what happened 7 years ago, we have all reasons to be cautious about what will happen in the next 50 years.

Now this being said, it's true that there's something very real today, and it is that there are more French new-born babies than German new-born babies. In 2006, about 820,000 French babies are born and about 675,000 German babies are born. As a result, the trend leads currently to a reducing gap of population between both countries. Now we don't know if that trends will continue, we don't know how immigration will go on. Well, many things can change from now to 2057.
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