A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘demography matters

[DM] Some links: immigration, cities, small towns, French Canada, Eurasia, China, Brexit, music

Another links post is up over at Demography Matters!

  • Skepticism about immigration in many traditional receiving countries appeared. Frances Woolley at the Worthwhile Canadian Initiative took issue with the argument of Andray Domise after an EKOS poll, that Canadians would not know much about the nature of migration flows. The Conversation observed how the rise of Vox in Spain means that country’s language on immigration is set to change towards greater skepticism. Elsewhere, the SCMP called on South Korea, facing pronounced population aging and workforce shrinkages, to become more open to immigrants and minorities.
  • Cities facing challenges were a recurring theme. This Irish Examiner article, part of a series, considers how the Republic of Ireland’s second city of Cork can best break free from the dominance of Dublin to develop its own potential. Also on Ireland, the NYR Daily looked at how Brexit and a hardened border will hit the Northern Ireland city of Derry, with its Catholic majority and its location neighbouring the Republic. CityLab reported on black migration patterns in different American cities, noting gains in the South, is fascinating. As for the threat of Donald Trump to send undocumented immigrants to sanctuary cities in the United States has widely noted., at least one observer noted that sending undocumented immigrants to cities where they could connect with fellow diasporids and build secure lives might actually be a good solution.
  • Declining rural settlements featured, too. The Guardian reported from the Castilian town of Sayatón, a disappearing town that has become a symbol of depopulating rural Spain. Global News, similarly, noted that the loss by the small Nova Scotia community of Blacks Harbour of its only grocery store presaged perhaps a future of decline. VICE, meanwhile, reported on the very relevant story about how resettled refugees helped revive the Italian town of Sutera, on the island of Sicily. (The Guardian, to its credit, mentioned how immigration played a role in keeping up numbers in Sayatón, though the second generation did not stay.)
  • The position of Francophone minorities in Canada, meanwhile, also popped up at me.
  • This TVO article about the forces facing the École secondaire Confédération in the southern Ontario city of Welland is a fascinating study of minority dynamics. A brief article touches on efforts in the Franco-Manitoban community of Winnipeg to provide temporary shelter for new Francophone immigrants. CBC reported, meanwhile, that Francophones in New Brunswick continue to face pressure, with their numbers despite overall population growth and with Francophones being much more likely to be bilingual than Anglophones. This last fact is a particularly notable issue inasmuch as New Brunswick’s Francophones constitute the second-largest Francophone community outside of Québec, and have traditionally been more resistant to language shift and assimilation than the more numerous Franco-Ontarians.
  • The Eurasia-focused links blog Window on Eurasia pointed to some issues. It considered if the new Russian policy of handing out passports to residents of the Donbas republics is related to a policy of trying to bolster the population of Russia, whether fictively or actually. (I’m skeptical there will be much change, myself: There has already been quite a lot of emigration from the Donbas republics to various destinations, and I suspect that more would see the sort of wholesale migration of entire families, even communities, that would add to Russian numbers but not necessarily alter population pyramids.) Migration within Russia was also touched upon, whether on in an attempt to explain the sharp drop in the ethnic Russian population of Tuva in the 1990s or in the argument of one Muslim community leader in the northern boomtown of Norilsk that a quarter of that city’s population is of Muslim background.
  • Eurasian concerns also featured. The Russian Demographics Blog observed, correctly, that one reason why Ukrainians are more prone to emigration to Europe and points beyond than Russians is that Ukraine has long been included, in whole or in part, in various European states. As well, Marginal Revolution linked to a paper that examines the positions of Jews in the economies of eastern Europe as a “rural service minority”, and observed the substantial demographic shifts occurring in Kazakhstan since independence, with Kazakh majorities appearing throughout the country.
  • JSTOR Daily considered if, between the drop in fertility that developing China was likely to undergo anyway and the continuing resentments of the Chinese, the one-child policy was worth it. I’m inclined to say no, based not least on the evidence of the rapid fall in East Asian fertility outside of China.
  • What will Britons living in the EU-27 do, faced with Brexit? Bloomberg noted the challenge of British immigrant workers in Luxembourg faced with Brexit, as Politico Europe did their counterparts living in Brussels.
  • Finally, at the Inter Press Service, A.D. Mackenzie wrote about an interesting exhibit at the Musée de l’histoire de l’immigration in Paris on the contributions made by immigrants to popular music in Britain and France from the 1960s to the 1980s.

[DM] Some links: longevity, real estate, migrations, the future (#demographymatters, #demographics, #population)

I have a links post up at Demography Matters.

  • Old age popped up as a topic in my feed. The Crux considered when human societies began to accumulate large numbers of aged people. Would there have been octogenarians in any Stone Age cultures, for instance? Information is Beautiful, meanwhile, shares an informative infographic analyzing the factors that go into extending one’s life expectancy.
  • Growing populations in cities, and real estate markets hostile even to established residents, are a concern of mine in Toronto. They are shared globally: The Malta Independent examined some months ago how strong growth in the labour supply and tourism, along with capital inflows, have driven up property prices in Malta. Marginal Revolution noted there are conflicts between NIMBYism, between opposing development in established neighbourhoods, and supporting open immigration policies.
  • Ethnic migrations also appeared. The Cape Breton Post shared a fascinating report about the history of the Jewish community of industrial Cape Breton, in Nova Scotia, while the Guardian of Charlottetown reports the reunification of a family of Syrian refugees on Prince Edward Island. In Eurasia, meanwhile, Window on Eurasia noted the growth of the Volga Tatar population of Moscow, something hidden by the high degree of assimilation of many of its members.
  • Looking towards the future, Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen was critical of the idea of limiting the number of children one has in a time of climate change. On a related theme, his co-blogger Alex Tabarrok highlights a new paper aiming to predict the future, one that argues that the greatest economic gains will eventually accrue to the densest populations. Established high-income regions, it warns, could lose out if they keep out migrants.

[DM] Some news inks: Montréal & Calcutta migration, Chinese languages, former Soviet Union, borders

I’ve a new links post up at Demography Matters.

  • La Presse notes that suburbanization proceeds in Montréal, as migration from the island of Montréal to off-island suburbs grows. This is of perhaps particular note in a Québec where demographics, particularly related to language dynamics, have long been a preoccupation, the island of Montréal being more multilingual than its suburbs.
  • The blog Far Outliers has been posting excerpts from The Epic City: The World on the Streets of Calcutta, a 2018 book by Kushanava Choudhury. One brief excerpt touches upon the diversity of Calcutta’s migrant population.
  • The South China Morning Post has posted some interesting articles about language dynamics. In one, the SCMP suggests that the Cantonese language is falling out of use among young people in Guangzhou, largest Cantonese-speaking city by population. Does this hint at decline in other Chinese languages? Another, noting how Muslim Huiare being pressured to shut down Arabic-medium schools, is more foreboding.
  • Ukrainian demographics blogger pollotenchegg is back with a new map of Soviet census data from 1990, one that shows the very different population dynamics of some parts of the Soviet Union. The contrast between provincial European Russia and southern Central Asia is outstanding.
  • In the area of the former Soviet Union, scholar Otto Pohl has recently examined how people from the different German communities of southeast Europe were, at the end of the Second World War, taken to the Soviet Union as forced labourers. The blog Window on Eurasia, meanwhile, has noted that the number of immigrants to Russia are falling, with Ukrainians diminishing particularly in number while Central Asian numbers remain more resistant to the trend.
  • Finally, JSTOR Daily has observed the extent to which border walls represent, ultimately, a failure of politics.

[DM] Some news links: public art, history, marriage, diaspora, assimilation

Some more population-related links popped up over the past week.

  • CBC Toronto reported on this year’s iteration of Winter Stations. A public art festival held on the Lake Ontario shorefront in the east-end Toronto neighbourhood of The Beaches, Winter Stations this year will be based around the theme of migration.
  • JSTOR Daily noted how the interracial marriages of serving members of the US military led to the liberalization of immigration law in the United States in the 1960s. With hundreds of thousands of interracial marriages of serving members of the American military to Asian women, there was simply no domestic constituency in the United States
  • Ozy reported on how Dayton, Ohio, has managed to thrive in integrating its immigrant populations.
  • Amro Ali, writing at Open Democracy, makes a case for the emergence of Berlin as a capital for Arab exiles fleeing the Middle East and North America in the aftermath of the failure of the Arab revolutions. The analogy he strikes to Paris in the 1970s, a city that offered similar shelter to Latin American refugees at that time, resonates.
  • Alex Boyd at The Island Review details, with prose and photos, his visit to the isolated islands of St. Kilda, inhabited from prehistoric times but abandoned in 1930.
  • VICE looks at the plight of people who, as convicted criminals, were deported to the Tonga where they held citizenship. How do they live in a homeland they may have no experience of? The relative lack of opportunity in Tonga that drove their family’s earlier migration in the first place is a major challenge.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how, in many post-Soviet countries including the Baltic States and Ukraine, ethnic Russians are assimilating into local majority ethnic groups. (The examples of the industrial Donbas and Crimea, I would suggest, are exceptional. In the case of the Donbas, 2014 might well have been the latest point at which a pro-Russian separatist movement was possible.)

[DM] Some news links: history, cities, migration, diasporas

I have another round-up post of links at Demography Matters, this one concentrating heavily on migration as it affects cities. An essay will come tomorrow, I promise!

  • JSTOR Daily considers the extent to which the Great Migration of African-Americans was a forced migration, driven not just by poverty but by systemic anti-black violence.
  • Even as the overall population of Japan continues to decline, the population of Tokyo continues to grow through net migration, Mainichi reports.
  • This CityLab article takes look at the potential, actual and lost and potential, of immigration to save the declining Ohio city of Youngstown. Will it, and other cities in the American Rust Belt, be able to take advantage of entrepreneurial and professional immigrants?
  • Window on Eurasia notes a somewhat alarmist take on Central Asian immigrant neighbourhoods in Moscow. That immigrant neighbourhoods can become largely self-contained can surprise no one.
  • Guardian Cities notes how tensions between police and locals in the Bairro do Jamaico in Lisbon reveal problems of integration for African immigrants and their descendants.
  • Carmen Arroyo at Inter Press Service writes about Pedro, a migrant from Oaxaca in Mexico who has lived in New York City for a dozen years without papers.
  • CBC Prince Edward Island notes that immigration retention rates on PEI, while low, are rising, perhaps showing the formation of durable immigrant communities. Substantial international migration to Prince Edward Island is only just starting, after all.
  • The industrial northern Ontario city of Sault Sainte-Marie, in the wake of the closure of the General Motors plant in the Toronto-area industrial city of Oshawa, was reported by Global News to have hopes to recruit former GM workers from Oshawa to live in that less expensive city.
  • Atlas Obscura examines the communities being knitted together across the world by North American immigrants from the Caribbean of at least partial Hakka descent. The complex history of this diaspora fascinates me.

[DM] Some links from the blogosphere

I’ve a post up at Demography Matters. As a prelude to more substantial posting, I thought I would share with readers some demographics-related links from my readings in the blogosphere.

  • The blog Far Outliers, concentrating on the author’s readings, has been looking at China in recent weeks. Migrations have featured prominently, whether in exploring the history of Russian migration to the Chinese northeast, looking at the Korean enclave of Yanbian that is now a source and destination for migrants, and looking at how Tai-speakers in Yunnan maintain links with Southeast Asia through religion. The history of Chinese migration within China also needs to be understood.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money was quite right to argue that much of the responsibility for Central Americans’ migration to the United States has to be laid at the foot of an American foreign policy that has caused great harm to Central America. Aaron Bastani at the London Review of Books’ Blog makes similar arguments regarding emigration from Iran under sanctions.
  • Marginal Revolution has touched on demographics, looking at the possibility for further fertility decline in the United States and noting how the very variable definitions of urbanization in different states of India as well as nationally can understate urbanization badly.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 27, 2019 at 2:30 pm

[DM] “Simulated Dendrochronology of U.S. Immigration 1790-2016”

Over at Demography Matters, I note how the blog Information is Beautiful has just now shared the results of the 2018 iteration of the Information is Beautiful Awards, a celebration of “the world’s world’s best data-visualisations and infographics.” Many of these data-visualizations and infographics deal with demographics, in one way or another. The winner, the video “Simulated Dendrochronology of U.S. Immigration 1790-2016” assembled by Pedro M. Cruz and team together with Northeastern University and National Geographic, does a remarkable job of showing trends in American immigration over nearly two centuries.

The project’s website explains what the video shows and how it shows it.

Nature has its own ways of [organizing] information: organisms grow and register information from the environment. This is particularly notable in trees, which, through their rings, tell the story of their growth. Drawing on this phenomenon as a visual metaphor, the United States can be envisioned as a tree, with shapes and growing patterns influenced by immigration. The nation, the tree, is hundreds of years old, and its cells are made out of immigrants. As time passes, the cells are deposited in decennial rings that capture waves of immigration.

Cells grow more in specific directions depending on the geographic origin of the immigrants. Rings that are more skewed toward the country’s East, for example, show more immigration from Europe, while rings skewed South show more immigration from Latin America.

A cell represents a specific number of immigrants who arrived in a given decade. A computational algorithm deposits those cells in such a way that simulates the appearance of tree rings. This physics-based system generates a data visualization that is based on millions of data points. The data was queried from IPUMS-USA and consists of millions of samples of questionnaires from U.S. Censuses.

The historical formation process of this tree can be observed in an animated way. Here, the granularity of the dataset is unveiled as hundreds of points of origin are laid out.

The U.S. and its population growth can also be envisioned as a forest of trees. Tree sections, one for each state in the U.S., show the growth profile due to incoming immigration, but also due to newborns (here referred to as natural-borns).

Each state has grown at different rates, with varying immigration profiles. Some are larger, some are smaller, and some have complex shapes that portray their immigration profile. Tree rings that are nearly circular indicate that population growth due to immigration was much less significant than that due to natural-born persons.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 11, 2018 at 11:33 pm