Recent demographic developments in France: life expectancy still rising

France Prioux  By the same author


AbstractThe population of metropolitan France (mainland + Corsica) on 1 January 2008 is estimated at 61.88 million. The natural increase in 2007 was a still-robust 270,000, despite a moderate decline in births. The number of foreigners admitted as residents dipped slightly in 2006. The total fertility rate (TFR) fell 1% to 1.96 children per woman in 2007, but stayed above all the other values observed since 1975. Completed fertility decreased between the 1960 and 1969 cohorts, but should then stabilize at around 2 children per woman. The number of induced abortions held steady, but their frequency registered a further small increase in the youngest age group. The number of civil unions (PACS) started rising sharply again. More than 90% of them concern opposite-sex couples. Nuptiality is down, the probability of marriage for the never-married having reached an all-time low. After the exceptional rise in divorces in 2005 due to the new legislation, their number declined to 131,300 in 2007, the same level as in 2004, and concerned around 132,000 underage children. Life expectancy at birth gained 0.4 years to 77.6 years for men and 0.3 years to 84.5 years for women in 2007. In the period 1995-2005, the main driver of the increase in female life expectancy was the decline in mortality at the oldest ages (around 80-85); for men, the most powerful factor was the reduction at ages 65-70.