Populations and spaces in transition

Head of research area: Christophe Z. Guilmoto

The research in this research area outlines a rapidly changing India, where contemporary transformations are reshaping the spatial and environmental structures of the country. The main drivers of these transition processes are primarily social and economic changes, but also include policy initiatives affecting urban localities, the natural environment and health outcomes. In particular, we focus on the outcomes of these dynamics on urban areas, the natural environment and demographic trends.

  • Urbanization

We examine here some of the most salient challenges facing urban areas in India, ranging from emerging health issues, access to public goods, IT development and migration. 

  • Environment

We explore here the various ways in which the countryside responds to the recent development drives and the extent to which fragile natural spaces are impacted.

  • Population, Family, Gender

We explore at both local and macro scales the deep transformations affecting the social and demographic fabric of Indian society, focusing notably on health, family and gender issues.


  • CSH Members : Joël Cabalion, Hugo Ribadeau Dumas, Christophe Z. Guilmoto and Stéphanie Tawa Lama.
  • CSH Associate Researchers and Visiting Researchers: Samuel Benkimoun, Rémi de Bercegol, Caterina Guenzi, Bérénice Gérard, Christine Moliner, Jessica Pourraz, Apprajita Sarcar, Olivier Tell and Marie-Hélène Zerah.

Project: Atlas of Gender and Health

Following a preliminary workshop at the CSH in 2020, a team of about 30 researchers directed by Christophe Z. Guilmoto and Nandita Saikia (IIPS, Mumbai) is working on an Atlas of gender and Health in India. This Atlas will bring together about 20 original chapters covering diverse issues ranging from demographic patterns (low fertility, migration, child mortality, etc.) to health behavior (anemia, hypertension, foodways, etc.), gender bias (son preference, girl-only families, women’s land ownership, etc.) and reproductive health (antenatal care, cancer screening, hospital deliveries, immunization, etc.).

The Atlas is based on the latest countrywide dataset that has been released in April 2022 and it will include about 30 district-level maps of gender and health indicators.