This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Friday, January 1, 2016

The Top Ten Blog Posts of 2015

As I do on New Year's Day each year, I have taken a look back at the most popular items in the past year. Who are the winners among the nearly 300 that I posted in 2015, based on the number of hits on each one? Here they are:

1. The clear winner was the story about how many Muslims there are in France--a question that arose after the Charlie Hebdo killings early in 2015, but was then resurrected by the Paris attacks in late 2015:

2. The second place post coincided with my wife and I celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary, as I asked the question about the likelihood that you might make it to your own 50th anniversary. Spoiler alert: the odds are not high 😞

3. Third place went to the PAA Presidential Address by Prof. Steven Ruggles of the University of Minnesota. His talk on "Patriarchy, Power, and Pay" used historical data to show how dramatically the labor force has changed over the past two hundred years, and his prescriptions for change will sound familiar to regular readers of this blog. BTW, his address the was published in the December 2015 issue of Demography.

4. The one-child policy in China is of enormous global interest and in January 2015 there was a lot of speculation about the prospect that China would lift that policy. It did, but no one realistically expects this to generate a new baby boom.

5. Angus Deaton's Nobel Prize in Economics was a win not just for him, but for demography as a science:

6. Aging populations have caused a lot of angst in low-fertility countries, especially in Europe and East Asia and a blog post about this issue generated a lot of interest. Indeed, it is a topic that I have discussed on numerous occasions, most recently only a few days ago. And, as it turns out, the second most popular blog post of all time (to date) has been the one from 2014 in which I lay out the key to successful aging for people and societies--work long and save.

7. Fertility in the U.S. hovers right around replacement level, so any new information about fertility trends counts as important news. Here's what we learned in May of 2015:

8. I was very pleased to see that the top ten list included my post about the release of the 2015 PRB World Population Data Sheet. Don't leave home without those data readily available on your cell phone or iPad:

9. Ninth place goes to the genuinely bizarre story about the Saudi land grab in Arizona. I still have a tough time with that one:

10. The final blog post on the top ten list is a sad one--about Haiti and its role, if you will, as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

While this is technically a look back, most of these stories will still be affecting us in 2016--as will the others that I have posted that didn't make the top ten list. Egypt has not been at the top of the news cycle in the past year, but the most popular blog post of all-time (going back to 2010) is the one from 2011 in which I try to answer the question about how poor is the average Egyptian.

Happy New Year!

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