Saturday, December 12, 2009

Malaysia's relatively declining Chinese and South Korea's interracial children

Here's two follow-up posts, each looking at Malaysia's changing ethnic demographics and South Korea's unexpected new melting pot.

  • Over at the Malaysia Insider, Helen Ang examines ("Honey, I Shrunk the Chinese!") the relative decline of Malaysia's Chinese from a plurality to an increasingly small minority. She emphasizes the extent to which emigration from Malaysia has been concentrated among ethnic Chinese, but considers the demographic transition only inasmuch as it reflects the moral decay of younger Malaysian Chinese relative to their elders and their lamentable lack of ethnic versus regional identity.

  • The New York Times' Martin Fackler suggests ("Baby Boom of Mixed Children Tests South Korea") that, owing to discrimination against non-Koreans, language issues, immigrant women's lack of agency, and the concentration of immigrant women in relatively deprived areas and social strata, children born in South Korea to couples of mixed nationality are expected to face a hard time of it despite their country's need for young people.

    john said...

    you may have already seen, new U.S. Census estimates are out for about twenty countries. Highlight: China's population and TFR have been lowered (from 1.8 to 1.5 for the TFR). This strikes me as a big deal, and I'd love to see it discussed on the blog, if you have any thoughts...

    thanks, john

    Nobody said...


    The Effect of Child Allowances on Fertility

    CB said...

    If I am honest, the thing with China doesn't strike me. Chinese people have one of the lowest fertility rates in general. The rates of the three major Chinese cities (Peking, Shanghai and Shenzhen) are already below 1 child. Even in free chinese societies like Taiwan, Hongkong and Singapore there are fertility rates barely over 1 child per woman. In 20 years China will havew reached lowest low fertility.

    For me it seems that it's a general problem for Asian cities that they have the lowest bitrh rates in the world. Bangkok, Peking and Shanghai 0.9, Hongkong, Tokyo and Seoul 1 child/woman, to give some examples. These cities are also the most attractive for the people in Asia, so there's a downward trend in fertility in general. More and more I trhink that this is a cultural issue. How does it come that fertility rates in Asian cities are extreme low? There are only very few cities over 10 million people left that have a fertility over 2.1: Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Lagos, Cairo, Karachi, Manila and Delhi. 5 of 6 megacities have fertility rates below 2.1.

    Birtrh rates are imploding all over the world. If these trends continue, then the world population could reach the peak before 2050 if the problems could not be solved!

    john said...

    Cicerone, where do you find statistics for TFR by city?

    CB said...

    On the official statistical pages of the countries. Often it's very difficult to find data because of other languages, but Google translator helps a lot^^. Often there are fertility rates for the first-level-administrative divisions of the country, the capital city usually is a state, province, etc, so you have the TFR for the capital.

    Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China even have TFRs for the boroughs of their major cities. The figures I gave for chinese cities are adjusted for a 1.8 TFR, so they are even lower if you adjust them for 1.5. Official, Chinas TFR in 2000 was only 1.2.

    I could send you that data if you want, it's really interesting.

    Scott said...

    Could you post a link to the US Census page with the foreign TFR data?

    john said...

    Sure. It's under 'data access' from this page (lots of stuff besides TFR - you have to play with it a bit to figure out how the data is organized; note also 'release notes'.

    Nobody said...


    Do you have any idea why the CIA Factbook data for the Middle East is significantly lower than other sources?

    CB said...

    I don't really know, all that I can say is that the CIA data are estimates for 2009. The CIA data is taken directly from the census IDB. They collect fertility-data from some sources, but usually this data is very old. Then they make a prognosis to 2050 on how the population data of that country will change. The data for 2009 that the CIA publishes are from these prognoses.

    For example, the last data for China was from 2008 (1.53) , then they assume the TFR for 2050 is 1.7 and will increase linear to that point. So you get 1.534 for 2009.

    The most common TFR for 2050 for Arabia is 2.0 so they let the TFRs fall linear till that from the last data they have.