1The present issue is the first of a series of annual publications which will offer an English version of a selection of demographic studies recently published in French.
2 The Institut National d’Etudes Démographiques has become increasingly aware of the difficulties demographers throughout the world encounter in understanding the works of French demographers. This has in recent years led to the publication of several Selected Papers, in which different articles from Population were translated into English, an initiative which has now been extended to give birth to the present series on a regular annual basis.
3 The initiative for the English Selection of Population came from the French National Committee of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, and in particular its two successive Presidents, Alain Bideau, Research Director at the CNRS, and Roland Pressat, Research Director at INED. The present issue was financed by a grant from the French Ministry of Research and Technology ; future publications will be financed by INED.
4 Translating all the papers published recently in French was obviously out of the question, and a delicate selection procedure was necessary. The aim was to reflect as closely as possible the diversity of population research in France, focussing on the international nature of the studies and the originality of the ideas or methods presented.
5 Nita Lery, Roberta Le Texier and Linda Sergent then carried out the difficult task of translating the selected papers, while Eugene Grebenik revised them with his usual meticulousness. They are warmly thanked for their excellent work. Thanks are also due to the staff of Population, and in particular Linda Sergent, as Assistant Editor, for their careful preparation of the issue.
7 Communication between scientists is greatly facilitated when they share a common language. Latin in Ancient Europe, French during the 18th century, have given way to English in the present-day world. We hope that through this language, the annual publication initiated here will serve as a means of communication between demographers.
The French National Committee of the IUSSP has produced a bibliography of publications by French demographers in languages other than French, which can be obtained free of charge from the Committee (at the same address as INED).