The family and ageing in the overseas departements and the South

The family and ageing in the overseas departements and the South

Now considered "young" countries, most of the South will experience massive population ageing in the decades ahead. The same applies to the population of France’s overseas départements ("DOM"), currently younger than that of metropolitan France.
The strong expected increase in the number of old people, a significant percentage of whom, depending on the country, will not benefit from social protection (notably because some income is earned in the informal sector), leads to new questions about family solidarity. That is particularly relevant because in many countries in the South, the size and structure of domestic units is changing, leading to a transformation in the forms of inter-generational and inter-family solidarity.

Structure and breadth of family networks in the South

S Pennec, J Gaymu

In the countries of the South, solidarity towards the eldest members of society can rely on a broad family network, with collateral relatives sometimes taking the place of direct descendants. Extending the microsimulation research on France, we plan to evaluate the breadth of the family network that old people can call on in countries of the South. Each person’s family ties - from spouse to first cousins via children, grandchildren, siblings, nephews and nieces, uncles and aunts - will be simulated. Based on WHO mortality data and fertility data from population health surveys, several demographic patterns illustrating the current diversity of countries in the South will be used as examples: fertility of six or seven children per woman and life expectancy of 50-60 years (Burkina Faso, Mali, Nigeria, etc.), fertility of four or five children per woman and life expectancy of 60-70 years (Sudan, Ghana, Laos, etc.) and fertility of two or three children per woman and life expectancy of 70-80 years (Morocco, Algeria, Peru, Brazil, etc.). The aim will be to show how the combination of different fertility and mortality levels affects the size and structure of the family network and the probability of being, at various old ages, one of the links in a more or less extended family line. This research will shed valuable light on the network of potential helpers of the most elderly in countries where data on family structures are sometimes scarce.

Ageing and inter-generational solidarity in the DOM

C Valentin Marie 

Contrasting with the conventional image of young societies with rapid population growth, Martinique, Guadeloupe and Reunion are expected to undergo extremely rapid population ageing in the future: the percentage of people aged 60 and over is expected to double by 2030. That change and its social consequences are raising new questions in the overseas départements ("DOM"). How many four- and five-generation families are there in the DOM? Where and with whom do dependent elderly people live and will they live? According to which modalities is inter-generational solidarity implemented and will it be implemented? What is the percentage of financial or human support from the public sector in the total? And the private sector? How are these contributions likely to change?

All these questions call for an in-depth investigation in each DOM, but also a forward-looking view of the implications. They therefore require the collection of new data on the living conditions of elderly people and of those currently close to retirement (status, resources, state of health, lifestyle), which is the aim of the Migration, Families and Ageing Survey. In that survey, the family unit is the central object of analysis, around which other issues (migration and ageing) are organised. Two reasons justify that choice: the place of the family in overseas societies and its role in solidarity towards elderly people. The aim is to understand (and anticipate) needs related to ageing and likely increased dependency owing to continuous life expectancy gains.

Inter-generational relations in countries of the South

V Golaz 

The aim of this project is to study the role of the state, the family and inter-generational relations in old age in West Africa, East Africa and the Maghreb, where population ageing is at various stages. The aim is to describe the living conditions of elderly people by taking into account the public policies they benefit from and the social relations they have developed over their lifetimes. Social relations that directly involve their descendants will receive special attention, because of those particularly strong ties. The family environment of elderly people and their position in the chain of family solidarity (as providers or recipients of support) will be central issues. The project will initially analyse existing data and collect qualitative material. At a later stage, new quantitative data will be collected.

Some references

Sajoux M. et Nowik L., 2010, Vieillissement de la population au Maroc : réalités d'une métamorphose démographique et sources de vulnérabilité des aîné(e)s, In Autrepart,  N°1-2010 (53), Vieillir au Sud, pp. 17-35

Nowik L.. Azammam S.  Sajoux M. et Hamzaoui K., 2010, L'évolution de la cohabitation intergénérationnelle au Maroc : les solidarités privées mises à l'épreuve ?, Colloque de l'Association Internationale des Démographes de Langue Française (AIDELF), Genève, 21-24 juin 2010

Antoine P. et Golaz V. (coord.), 2010, Vieillir au Sud, Autrepart, n°53, 1-2010, 201 p

Antoine P, Golaz V., Sajoux M., 2009, « Vieillir dans les pays du Sud: mieux connaître les solidarités privées et publiques autour de la vieillesse en Afrique », Retraite et société, n°58, p.184-188

Breton D., Condon S., Marie C.V., Temporal F., 2009, « Les départements d'Outre-Mer face aux défis du vieillissement démographique et des migrations », Population et sociétés, n° 460, 4 pAntoine P, 2007, Les relations intergénérationnelles en Afrique. Approche plurielle. Ceped, collection Rencontres, Paris, 255 p