Is this the end of French rural depopulation ?

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Research director, INED (Institut National d’Etudes Démographiques : national institute for demographic studies) , Laboratory director of historical demography, EHESS (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales : school for advanced studies in the soci

Seminar Entrepreneurs, towns and regions | Wednesday November 9, 2005 - 8h45 - 10h45

Demographers in the mid-twentieth century predicted French rural depopulation resulting in an increase in the Parisian population. Recent censuses have shown the opposite, namely that there has been a marked tendency in the growth of the smallest towns and villages. Hervé Le Bras has studied this phenomenon in detail and he shows us a reconstruction of the difference between rural and urban life based on political rather than demographic factors. Above all, he presents a scathing analysis of the errors made in demography. These mistakes are numerous and frequent as a certain number of examples prove. It is as if, despite recognised scientific probity and reasonable observations, demographers were influenced unintentionally by their generation’s way of thinking.

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