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Meetings discuss the effects of migration and demographic dividend in Latin America

by Richard Meckien - published Jun 06, 2018 11:40 AM - - last modified Jun 12, 2018 02:16 PM
Rights: Original version in Portuguese by Mauro Bellesa.

Silvia Giorguli - 2018 - 2
Sociologist and demographer Silvia Giorguli will participate in two events at the IEA

The impact of migration on the education of children and young people, and the possible consequences of changing the Mexican demographic profile with the reduction of the percentage of young people from now on will be addressed by sociologist and demographer Silvia Giorguli, president of El Colegio de México, at two exhibitions on June 12 and 13, both from 2.00 pm, at the IEA.

The talks and debates will be in Spanish and Portuguese. The organizers are the IEA and USP's International Cooperation Office (AUCANI), with support from the Consulate General of Mexico in São Paulo. Both events will be broadcast live on the Institute website.


The meetings inaugurate the activities of academic, scientific, and cultural cooperation between USP and El Colegio de México, under an agreement signed in December 2017. For a period of five years, it will provide for the exchange of professors, undergraduates, post-graduates and technical-administrative staff between the two institutions.

The coordination of the agreement is in charge of AUCANI's president Raul Machado Neto, IEA's deputy director Guilherme Ary Plonski and El Colegio de México's general academic coordinator Laura Flamand Gómez.


On June 12, the Mexican researcher will give the conference 'Migration and Education.' The commentators will be Rosana Baeninger, a professor at UNICAMP who has just published the book Atlas de Migração do Estado de São Paulo (available in Portuguese only,) and José Renato de Campos Araújo, from USP's School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities (EACH). The moderator will be Alberto Pfeifer, a professor of USP's Institute of International Relations (IRI) and a member of the University's International Conjuncture Analysis Group (GACINT).

From research on Mexican and Central American realities, Giorguli will discuss the impacts of international migration on the lives of migrants and their families. An example of this, according to her, is the positive or negative changes in the educational trajectory of children as a function of their own mobility or that of their parents.

"Increasing family resources due to remittances from abroad or better school opportunities in the destination country can increase educational achievement," says the sociologist. However, she warns, changes in parental supervision, the emotional cost associated with migration, and competition between educational and migratory expectations" may result in poor performance and increased probability of dropping out of school."

Demographic change

On June 13, Giorguli will be one of the exhibitors in the panel 'Demographic Dividend in Latin America,' along with two specialists from the SEADE Foundation: Bernadette Cunha Waldvogel and Carlos Eugênio de Carvalho Ferreira, who will present a demographic panorama of the state of São Paulo.

Like most of Latin America, the rapid decline in fertility rates in Mexico over the last four decades has led to a change in the structure of age groups. "The youth population has reached its peak and will stop growing, causing Mexico to reach its lowest percentage of dependents in the next decade [in contrast to the total economically active population]," explains the researcher.

If specific economic and social conditions are met, this demographic dividend could "favor economic growth and result in a positive scenario for the overall development of the country." This expectation imposes some relevant issues, according to Giorguli:

  • to what extent is Mexico prepared to capitalize on this demographic dividend?
  • what will be the main challenges resulting from the change in age composition given the context of prevalent inequality in the country?
  • what public policies are needed to anticipate these challenges and to reap the benefits of this demographic change before entering the stage of rapid aging of the population?


State of São Paulo

Also in the Brazilian case, and more specifically in the state of São Paulo, the process of demographic transition is causing a rapid change in the age structure of the population due to a sharp drop in fecundity at levels lower than replacement and progressive increase in survival at higher ages, explain the researchers from the SEADE Foundation.

"According to projections of the Foundation, the participation of younger-age groups in the total population of São Paulo is decreasing, while that of older ones has been expanding rapidly."

Waldvogel and Ferreira point out that the analysis of the population projection for the state of São Paulo is in line with the "increasingly broad debate on the demographic issue in Brazil, stimulated by the resulting problem from the profound changes related to the reduction of population growth, and changes in the inhabitants' age distribution."

According to research, population aging is a progressive process throughout the state. "While in the last demographic census the population under 15 years of age exceeded the quota of 65 years and over, by the year 2050 the landscape will be the reverse."

In this scenario, special attention needs to be paid to the current and future formulation of public policies, warn the researchers: "It is necessary to take the possible impacts of these transformations into account, as well as the social demands arising from the growth of the older segment of the population."

Photo: El Colegio de México