With the collapse various North African regimes there has been a great concern about the migration of people from the southern shore of the Mediterranean to the northern. The of the reasons for this concern is that there is an imbalance in population growth. So I thought I’d review some of the data on Mediterranean nations over time using Google Data Explorer.
The fertility rate shows convergence over time. Let’s use a bar plot to get a better sense of shifts in rank order:
For many the surprising result will be France: its fertility is converging with its traditional North Africa “source” colonies. One possibility is that this is due to the high fertility of French immigrants from these regions, but the immigrants and their children only comprise ~5 percent of the French population. But France’s relatively large Muslim population (using maximal definitions of who is a Muslim ~10 percent, though using a genuine confessional definition probably less than ~5 percent) can’t explain the shift. The biggest tell that this isn’t a conservative Muslim baby-boom is illustrated by this figure:
France also has a relatively low adolescet fertility. This is a “Scandinavian pattern.” The replacement of children in formal marriage with those from long term unions which don’t always make a pretense toward permanency (e.g, Ségolène Royal had 4 children with her partner, and she was never married to him).
Finally, how about Albania? It’s fertility has crashed a great deal over the last 20 years.