“See before voting” These 5 maps of France

What if one card could silence the dispute? This is a task set by two researchers, Aurélien Delpirou (geographer) and Frédéric Gilli (economic statistician), with the title of Atlas. 50 cards to look at before voting, Published by Editions Autumn in early 2022. In a nutshell, they summarize their openly radical approach: “The real question, the wrong discussion. »»

“Is France declining? », “Is it better before?», «Community crowd?”, “Can politics do anything more?”, “No future?» »… None of the flammable themes of the presidential election have been forgotten. Everything has been scrutinized by economics, society, history and geography. “When these discussions take place, they should be based on credible information, Justifies Frédéric Gilli, a professor of Sciences Po Paris. This is a prerequisite for successful democracy. »»

For each hexagonal map, the two authors are the institutional demographics (Insee, OECD, World Bank, etc.), studies published by researchers (higher education), and their own from their studies. Numbers (for example, the best workers in France).

Together, these “political enthusiasts” searched, sorted, cross-referenced, assembled and interpreted over 150 different databases. All within 6 months. “As scholars, we have a responsibility to find out why a particular controversy thrives when science proves it to be wrong.” Teacher-Insist on a researcher.

Les Echos START has selected five and selected to publish them prior to the first round on April 10th. It will be a matter of (especially) diplomas, instability, autonomy, social mobility, telework, robots, territories, debt, opportunities … here are some written excerpts:

1-“French full of opportunities? »»


“France is one of the major European countries that young people consider to be the least prepared for their future jobs. [Pourtant, NDLR] France has integrated, recognized and evaluated know-how in many areas (medical and social sector, digital, engineering, crafts) identified by experts as the most promising. »»

2- “Changes in relationships with work”


“More than one in two French wants to last [le télétravail, NDLR], Pave the way for the evolution of social professional practices and the transfer of specific activities to the center of rural towns. The pandemic has revealed another major change. […] The proliferation of “independent employee” platforms (“Uberization”) that compete with traditional companies has already challenged public institutions. »»

3- “Failure of social elevator”


“With the exception of the urban areas of Toulouse, Lyon, Grenoble and Nantes, no sector other than Ile de France offers more than 1% of the opportunity for young people to access one of the country’s 35 most carefully selected grandes écoles. Hmm. And if you come from a popular neighborhood, your chances of success are even lower. […] In short, France is less like a “broken” society than a country where access to the highest status is still reserved for a few. »»

4-“More graduates, fewer prospects”


“In the third generation, their share has almost doubled! […] However, there is a response to this advancement. The life and learning environment of young people is deteriorating. University facilities are inadequate and one in two students must work to fund research. A quarter experiences regular financial difficulties. France also suffers from low training expertise. »»

5-“Youth: more autonomous and more unstable”


“In France, young people leave their parents’ homes on average two and a half years earlier than Europeans, but they are about the same age (about 24 years) as their German, English, Belgian and Dutch neighbors. […] However, the independence of young French is declining. […] These difficulties in entering adult life are mainly explained by the obstruction of integration into the labor market. Over 40 years, the unemployment rate for 20-29 years has risen from 4% (equivalent to the rest of the population) to 18% (twice the rest of the working population), and the average age of first jobs is stable from 1975 to 2019. It decreased from 20 to 27 during the year. “

Be careful

This article published a tenth of the work done by two researchers, Aurélien Delpirou (Geography and Lecturer, Faculty of Urban Planning, Paris) and Frédéric Gilli (Economic statistician and Professor of Sciences Po Paris). If you want to go further, there are still 45 “check before voting” cards in the book published by Editions else.