1From its creation in 1946, Population has endeavoured to inform readers on the demographic situation in France. The journal published its first article on the demographic context in 1970 and would soon go on to publish a similar article every year. Population continues to fulfil this mission, but it has also expanded its geographical purview. Since 2004, the journal has featured articles that summarize population trends around the world. Responsibility for this project has been entrusted to Dominique Tabutin, Emeritus Professor at Université Catholique de Louvain and a member of the journal’s editorial board.
2These articles aim to provide readers with a broad panorama of the demographic situation in major world regions, accompanied by reliable and updated series of statistics. By drawing on geographical, socioeconomic, and epidemiological data, the articles review the specific characteristics of populations over long time scales, addressing trends in population sizes and structures, fertility, nuptiality, migration, mortality, and demographic projections, as well as topics more specific to the region in question, such as urbanization, ageing, and HIV.
3Reader interest is clear, as these articles are among Population’s most downloaded contributions. Through their content and style, they are intended both for an informed readership in demography together with teachers, students, journalists, and any other individuals interested in contemporary demographic issues.
4After completing an ‘around-the-world’ journey, with contributions from numerous authors (writing on sub-Saharan Africa in 2004, the Arab world and the Middle East in 2005, Latin America and the Caribbean in 2006, South Asia in 2008, East and South-East Asia in 2009, Oceania in 2010, Europe in 2011, and Canada and the United States in 2012), it is time to shift our focus back to the world region with the highest population growth: sub-Saharan Africa. Dominique Tabutin and Bruno Schoumaker, the authors of the initial articles, have thus resumed their work, reviewing the most recent trends observed since the start of the 21st century in a region home to over a billion people.
5We hope you enjoy this latest instalment.