At the microphone of Europe 1, Hervé Le Bras, demographer and director of studies at the School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences, returns on Monday to several concepts such as "peripheral France" or "the feeling of downgrading", recalling that these global concepts could not be applied on the whole of the French territory, strong of many disparities.


>> This Monday evening, after Chanteloup-les-Vignes, Europe 1 decided to return to Mourenx to understand the problems of this rural France where the "yellow vests" have not changed anything. Hervé Le Bras, demographer and director of studies at the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, will be one of the guests of this special program.

"Part of peripheral France is sometimes better than the big cities"

Guest of Matthieu Belliard's morning show, Hervé Le Bras returned to the concept of "peripheral France", developed in particular by geographer Christophe Guilluy. "Roughly speaking, this designates territories which are not metropolises, but when we look in detail, this 'peripheral France' is extraordinarily diverse", he explains. For the demographer, this notion cannot designate only the countryside or rural areas. "There is a kind of gradient," he explains.

>> Watch Matthieu Belliard's morning show in replay and in podcast here

"We are also talking about metropolises and medium-sized cities. You really have regions where the economy is doing well, where people have morale, sometimes better than the big cities, and then regions, which are a little bit So you have to be very careful: the word 'peripheral' hides a great diversity of French regions, "says Hervé Le Bras, taking the example of the Somme and Vendée.

"We tend to embellish the past"

Questioned by Matthieu Belliard on the concept of "downgrading", the demographer acknowledges that he does not know if the word "is perfectly correct". To justify his point, Hervé Le Bras takes the example of access to employment for graduates. "In 1968, there were 6% of executives and liberal professions and 6% of people passed by the university. Today, one counts 16% of executives, but 36% of people pass by the university", explains the demographer. "If there is a downgrading, it is at the starting point: at the end of studies. This generates a great frustration because we are in a meritocratic country. If we have successfully completed our studies, we must have a place in society, "he said.

>> Follow the special Nathalie Levy broadcast live from Mourenx between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Europe 1 and

But Hervé Le Bras says, however, that "we tend to embellish the past". "Yes, there are a lot of things that go wrong, for example in the hospital with the emergency situation, but at the same time, when we look at life expectancy, it increases slightly". "That of women is one of the highest in the European Union", he underlines.