Demographic developments in the Middle East and North Africa

Faculty/Professorship: Demography  
Author(s): Engelhardt-Wölfler, Henriette ; Schulz, Florian  
By: Engelhardt, Henriette ; ...
Corporate Body: Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg, Professur für Demografie
Publisher Information: Bamberg : opus
Year of publication: 2017
Pages: 40
Series ; Volume: University of Bamberg demographic discussion papers ; 20 
Language(s): English
Licence: Creative Commons - CC BY-NC - Attribution - NonCommercial 3.0 International 
URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:473-opus4-498146
BACKGROUND: Against the background of the concept of demographic transition, the demographic developments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have been described as ‘peculiar’ and ‘unique’. Since the discussions about the demographic performance and changing age-structure, the picture has changed and needs to be updated.
OBJECTIVE: We evaluate the current state and recent demographic development in 25 countries. We show how population structure and processes have changed in this region from 1950 to 2015 and compare these processes with the developments in Western societies.
METHODS: We use recent and internationally comparable macro-data on changing demographics, and present standard and self-computed indicators based on the databases of various United Nations agencies.
RESULTS: Main findings are (1) a natural increase in population in all countries; (2) an increase in fertility in three countries; (3) changing age structures that do not support the notions of a ‘youth bulk’ or population aging; (4) substantial migration but diverging patterns of refugee migration; (5) no guarantee of a demographic dividend; and (6) a heterogeneous picture in terms of the country-specific phases of demographic transition.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings underline that the MENA countries have to respond to demographic developments to benefit from the demographic dividend and the population momentum by adapting their economic, social and political institutions.
CONTRIBUTION: We outline the debate about demographical developments in MENA countries and update the demographic profiles of 25 countries that have experienced considerable change in the last decades.
GND Keywords: Naher Osten; Nordafrika; Bevölkerungsentwicklung; Geschichte 1950-2015
Keywords: Middle East, North Africa, MENA, Demographic development
DDC Classification: 300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology  
RVK Classification: MS 4200   
Type: Workingpaper
Year of publication: 25. September 2017

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