Demography in the Early 21st Century: An Insight from French Doctoral Theses in Population Studies
Results show that the number of doctoral theses per year is relatively constant, with fluctuations due to institutional constraints. Doctoral students are mostly female (55%). The concentration of researches in six main geographic poles reflects the structure of demography training. Demography is the main discipline (65%) followed by sociology, geography, political science and economy. Studies on mortality and health tend to involve more modeling and to be more associated with population structure whereas fertility is often analyzed in conjunction with family and sexuality and tends to more frequently adopt a gender perspective. By contrast, migration, which represents the most frequent topic, is more associated with culture, minorities, using qualitative approaches. It also addresses issues related to environment and territory. This analysis provides insights into population studies boundaries as well as the way disciplines complement each other. In the longer term, our database should be completed with theses prior to 2000. It may participate in the constitution of a comparative international database of doctoral theses in population science.