New Demographic Scenarios in the Mediterranean Regio, by Youssef Courbage

New Demographic Scenarios in the Mediterranean Region

Click on the right to download an English version of Youssef Courbage’s book entitled "New Demographic Scenarios in the Mediterranean Region" The French version is available for purchase.


The Arab countries, plus Turkey, Iran and Israel which make up a large group of states with a combined population of over 400 millions in 2000, were until very recently experiencing explosive demographic growth.

However the detailed examination of the most recent developments contained in this book show that with few exceptions demographic transition is in fact now under way in each of these countries at an astonishing pace. The projections for the region as a whole are that the Total Fertility Rate will fall from 3.00 in 2000 to 2.08 by 2025. This means that in just one generation from now the differences in fertility between one side of the Mediterranean and the other may be of just a few tenths.

The new population projections and forecasts presented here, which on many points contradict similar calculations made by a variety of institutions, produce a population estimate for 2025 of 563 million inhabitants. Only a few years ago, the expected figure was close to 700 million. Demographic growth is certainly going to continue, but at much lower levels than used to be thought. In a broader perspective, these revised demographic projections suggest the need for a new and more positive assessment of economic and social conditions in these Mediterranean countries for the next twenty-five years. This book is the product of the third revision and updating of the projections in five years. Scenari demografici mediterranei - La fine dell'esplosione, Edizioni Fondazioni Giovanni Agnelli, Torino, was published in 1998. Nouveaux horizons démographiques en Méditerranée, Cahier N°142, INED/PUF in 1999. Compared with this version, in addition to the language, there are numerous changes. Most recent data on population size and structures, fertility, mortality, migration… were used for almost all the 22 countries under study. the Fertility forecasts by level of education were applied to a larger number of countries than in the French book. In the case of Palestine and Israel, new concepts were considered (such as the concept of enlarged Jewish population). Finally, systematic comparison were made between our forecasts and those of latest United Nations Population Division, those of 2000. The differences are indeed striking : UN exaggerating future population growth in 2000-2025, by some 60 million inhabitants.

The book is divided in three chapters.