Orphanhood in France: Measurement, Evolution, and Characteristics

Alain Monnier, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Sophie Pennec, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

Orphanhood in developed countries is a subject that has been neglected by demographers. Until recently, the number of orphans in a country like France remained unknown, and this is not an isolated case. Our work estimates the number of French orphans under 21 at half a million. The first part of the presentation will examine the methods used to calculate the proportion and the number of orphans, depending on the type of data available (either macro-demographic data or survey data). The second part will describe this population's present characteristics in France and the third part will answer questions such as: How did orphanhood evolve in France over the twentieth century? Does the loss of one parent increase the likelihood of losing the other? Are there more orphans among blue-collar workers than among white-collar workers? Are orphans at a disadvantage with regards to scholastic or professional success?

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Families, Parenting, Adolescents, and Children