Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Some links: longevity, real estate, migrations, the future

I have been away on vacation in Venice--more on that later--but I am back now.
  • 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.

Friday, March 01, 2019

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

  • 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.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

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.)

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Some news links: history, cities, migration, diasporas


I have some links up for today, with an essay to come tomorrow.
  • 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.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Some news links: fertility, population aging, migration, demography is not destiny, Eurabia


Over the past week, I've come across some interesting news reports about different trends in different parts of the world.
  • The Independent noted that the length and severity of the Greek economic crisis means that, for many younger Greeks, the chance to have a family the size they wanted--or the chance to have a family at all--is passing. The Korea Herald, meanwhile, noted that the fertility rate in South Korea likely dipped below 1 child per woman, surely a record low for any nation-state (although some Chinese provinces, to be fair, have seen similar dips.)
  • The South China Morning Post argued that Hong Kong, facing rapid population aging, should try to keep its elderly employed. Similar arguments were made over at Bloomberg with regards to the United States, although the American demographic situation is rather less dramatic than Hong Kong's.
  • Canadian news source Global News noted that, thanks to international migration, the population of the Atlantic Canadian province of Nova Scotia actually experienced net growth. OBC Transeuropa, meanwhile, observed that despite growing emigration from Croatia to richer European Union member-states like Germany and Ireland, labour shortages are drawing substantial numbers of workers not only from the former Yugoslavia but from further afield.
  • At Open Democracy, Oliver Haynes speaking about Brexit argued strongly against assuming simple demographic change will lead to shifts of political opinion. People still need to be convinced.
  • Open Democracy's Carmen Aguilera, meanwhile, noted that far-right Spanish political party Vox is now making Eurabian arguments, suggesting that Muslim immigrants are but the vanguard of a broader Muslim invasion.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Some links from the blogosphere


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.