Population change, environment, resources, & conflict strand

Demography of armed conflict: Tuesday 10 September, 11.00am

Demography in the courtroom – invited keynote speaker
Helga Brunborg, Statistics Norway

The use of demographic evidence in international criminal court proceedings is relatively new and has presented several challenges. The talk will be based on the population project at the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. The goal of the project was to estimate the number of dead and missing persons during the armed conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1992-1995. The presentation will focus on the study of dead and missing connected with the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995, which is known as the worst massacre in Europe since World War II.  Results from this study have been presented to the court in a number of trials in written reports and oral testimonies, leading to convictions for war crimes and genocide. The use of micro data in court proceedings has presented special challenges with regard to data quality and methods. The role as expert witness will be discussed


Effect of the Iraq war on infant immunisation
Valeria Cetorelli, London School of Economics

This paper seeks to quantify the effect of the Iraq war on infant immunisation and to provide causal inferences regarding the nature of this effect. By doing so, it aims to contribute to the assessment of the public health legacies of war. The study relies on pooled data from the 2000, 2006, and 2011 Iraq Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (I-MICS). A difference-in-difference approach is used to contrast immunisation trends in the autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq, which was only mildly affected by the war, and in the central and southern provinces of the country, where violence and disruption were pervasive. The analysis demonstrates that not only the war reduced overall infant immunisation coverage, but it also increased pre-existing inequalities in access to immunisation services. These findings have important policy implications and can help design better targeted post-war immunisation strategies.


Socio-demographic differences in surviving the Holocaust
Peter Tammes, ESRC Centre for Population Change, University of Southampton

During the Nazi occupation 73% of all Jews living in The Netherlands were killed in concentration and destruction camps - the lowest national survival rate in North-West Europe. Soon after the liberation The Netherlands Red Cross estimated that few Jewish children and aged had survived the Holocaust. Furthermore, it is assumed that among the Jewish proletarians the survival rate was lowest. These statements, however, lack a numerical basis. Recovered resources on Jewish inhabitants allow us to determine survival rates. In January 1941, the Nazi occupier ordered Jews living in The Netherlands to register with the local authorities. The original list of Jewish residents in Amsterdam has been recovered. This list provides information on names, date and place of birth, marital status, family size, address, religion, nationality and occupation. To determine who fell victim to the Holocaust, these Jews were compared to Jews mentioned in In memoriam-Lezecher; the book that contains the place and date of death of all Jews who lived in The Netherlands and died in Nazi camps: about 75% of all Amsterdam Jews were killed. Using these sources, we can analyze differences in survival chance and survival time related to socio-demographic characteristics. The preliminary findings show that Jews younger than 15 did not had lower chances of survival than older Jews, while Jews who lived in a family whose head had a higher status job had a higher chance of survival than Jews who lived in a family whose head had no job or a lower status job.


Population change, environment, resources and conflict: Tuesday 10 September, 1.30pm

Determining the range of excess population loss estimates: A case study of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 1998-2004 armed conflict
Richard Kapend and Andrew Hinde, University of Southampton

The range of excess population loss estimates associated with the 1998-2004 armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) varies according to the methods, baseline or counterfactual scenarios set by given studies. By excess population loss is meant population shortfalls linked to all three components of population change: fertility, mortality and migration. Such shortfalls include the total number of deaths in excess of what would have been the case under normal circumstances; a fall in the number of births as well as an increase in the number of emigrants which can be associated with the conflict. Existing studies by Lambert and Lohlé-Tart and the International Rescue Committee (IRC), found that DRC’s 1998-2004 war related estimates of excess population loss range, respectively, from 200,000 to over 5 million, between 1998 and 2007. This study presents new estimates, which range between 1.4 million and 2.8 million. These estimates were constructed by applying a range of demographic methods, both direct and indirect, to multiple sources of data, including the DRC 1984 census, Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys in 1995 and 2001 and the 2007 Demographic and Health Survey, to estimate the components of demographic change. These estimates formed the input into cohort-component population projections under factual (i.e. what actually happened) and various counterfactual scenarios. Estimates of excess population loss were then derived from the difference between the two scenarios. Despite some limitations, combining various and timely data opportunities allows this study to narrow the uncertainty range around specific benchmark points. This study’s findings suggest that presenting a range of plausible estimates of excess population loss is more comprehensive than considering single estimates as it has been the case with previous studies both by Lambert and Lohlé-Tart and the IRC.


A demographic reconstruction of the components that contributed the most to population change during the Sierra Leone civil war, 1991-2002
Amie Kamanda, University of Southampton

This paper aims to reconstruct the population of Sierra Leone to explore the demographic components that contributed the most to structural changes in the population during the civil war of 1991-2002. This conflict reduced life expectancy at birth, prompted mass population displacements and led to a rapid decline in the total fertility rate. The cumulative effect of these processes was negative population growth rate and dramatic deviations to the historical interplay of the patterns in the country’s fertility, mortality and migration rates. Understanding the impact of such drastic reversals on the country’s population is important for historical documentation and using demographic evidence to promote peaceful conflict resolutions. The cohort component method of population projection is applied to age, sex, fertility and mortality data from the 1985 and 2004 censuses of Sierra Leone to reconstruct the civil war population which is benchmarked to the 2004 population. Data on net migrants is extracted from the United Nations refugee agency. Additional fertility data stems from survey data and United Nations World Population Prospects (2010). The reconstructed population of 4.9 million in 2005 is compared to the observed population in 2004. Next, the counterfactual population is obtained through variant projections using age and sex data, fertility and survivorship ratios from 1985 census. The individual effect of each demographic component is assessed followed by an evaluation of the effect of interactions of the components. The result suggests that the drivers of population change during the armed conflict in Sierra Leone were fertility and forced migration.


Do biased sex-ratios affect violent crime? An individual-level longitudinal analysis using Swedish register data
Sebastian Schnettler, Dept. of Sociology, University of Konstanz; Kieron Barclay, Dept. of Sociology, Stockholm University; Amber Beckley, Dept. of Criminology, Stockholm University; Andreas Filser, Dept. of Sociology, University of Konstanz

Highly male-skewed sex ratios have led researchers consider the potential consequences of male surplus on the marriage market for violent crimes and national security. Male surplus emerges due to imbalances of sex ratios at birth, shifting cohort sizes in case of age heterogamy, sex-specific mortality and regional migration. Therefore consequences of local imbalances on the marriage market may also appear in countries with a balanced sex ratio on the national level. Theory and evidence remain equivocal about the direction of a potential link between sex ratios and violence: Whereas taming effects of marriage on men and consequences of male-male competition point towards a positive association, larger female bargaining power and selectivity in partner choice due to female scarcity point towards the opposite: here males are expected to channel their efforts into socioeconomic achievement rather than violence. Evidence for contemporary societies relies almost exclusively on the correlation of crime rates and sex ratios on the national or province level. Results remain mixed which is likely due to data limitations in previous research: lack of individual-level and longitudinal data, an overly broad definition of marriage markets, and lacking specification of victim and perpetrator gender. We address these limitations and study the hypothesized link using Swedish registers, linking individual- and municipality-level data for Stockholm County (1990-2003). Using discrete-time proportional hazard models, we find that a higher proportion of males is associated with an increased probability of males aged 16 to 30 to commit crimes against both male and female victims.


Population and consumption effects under the Urban Transition
Emma Terama, University College London; Georgina Mace, University College London;  Tim Coulson, Oxford University

Our project ‘Population Change and Energy Consumption in the Urban Transition’ investigates the net effect of urbanisation globally. We do this by 1) investigating population change in cities, i.e. using a demographic model to depict the predominant age groups and their progression through an observation period, 2) apply consumption indicators to the population structure, 3) break down the overall consumption levels to transport-based and non-transport energy consumption, and 4) draw a trajectory of the ‘population x consumption’ effects over time in an urban vs rural setting. Through this trajectory we can show the net effect of population and consumption on dwindling natural resources, as well as highlighting the consequences of consumption on emissions. We also investigate the differences between consumption patterns in an urban vs. rural setting. Scenarios curbing consumption may be used to inform future policy against the perils of major, uncontrolled consumption, especially in the less developed world. Through this research we aim to contribute to the understanding of rural vs urban consumption, the effects of population structure in creating observed consumption patterns, and to promote the sustainable use of energy in the future.