Hervé Le Bras

Chairholder of the Territory and Population Chair

Hervé Le Bras is a demographer, historian and mathematician. A graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique, he has been Director of Studies at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) since 1980, Director of the Laboratory of historical demography (EHESS/CNRS) (1987-2007), a Churchill College Fellow at Cambridge since 2002, Director of Research at the Institut National d’Études Démographiques (INED) since 1975, then professor emeritus since 2008, and Seminar Director at the ENA (2009-10).


He has been an intern anthropologist in Chad (1966-67), a neurolinguistic statistician at  INSERM (1967-70), a lecturer at Polytechnique (1974-1992), Sciences-Po (1979-90), Professor of Geometry, Representation and Morphology at the École d'architecture Paris-Belleville (1969-90), and visiting professor at the universities of Geneva (economic history), Ann Arbor Michigan (history) and Virginia (historical demography). He has also chaired the Scientific Council of the French Delegation for territorial development and regional action (DATAR). A columnist for La Recherche since 1995, and a member of the editorial boards for Histoire et mesure, Demographic research, Raison présente, Autrepart (IRD journal), Passages, Cahiers de la recherche architecturale et urbaine, Bretagne(s), Books, he was also chief editor of Population (1978-1990) and co-founder and editor (1984-1991) of Mathematical Population Studies.

He has participated in debates on French demographics policy as a member of the Haut conseil de la population et de la famille (High council for population and family) (1981-1986) and recently on the two Attali committees, the Juppé-Schweitzer committee (foreign affairs white paper) and the Mazeaud committee on immigration quotas. In April 2009, he co-founded CARSED (Commission alternative d'évaluation des « statistiques ethniques » et de la discrimination; Alternative committee for the assessment of 'ethnic statistics' and discrimination).

Lastly, he has received the Chevalier de la légion d'honneur and has won the Louis Hachette (geography) and Union rationaliste awards.