The demographic situation in France

Recent Demographic Trends in France: A European Outlier?

Didier Breton  By the same author

      Magali Barbieri  By the same author

      Nicolas Belliot  By the same author

      Hippolyte d’Albis  By the same author

      Magali Mazuy  By the same author


On 1 January 2019, the population of France was nearly 67 million (66.99 million), representing 13.1% of the population of the European Union. The year 2018 was marked by a low number of births (759,000) and a number of deaths (614,000) that topped 600,000 for the first time since the Second World War. There was an increase in inflows from third countries whose nationals are required to hold a residence permit to live in France (237,742 people, +9% with respect to 2016). Men increasingly outnumber women in these inflows due to the growing share of predominantly male inflows from Africa and Asia. France has one of Europe’s lowest immigration rates. With a total fertility rate of 1.87 children per woman, France still ranks first in Europe in fertility. The total abortion rate was 0.5 per woman in 2018. The number of PACS unions is gradually catching up with the number of marriages (4 PACS for 5 marriages). The share of same-sex unions remained stable in 2017 (3.1% of all marriages, 3.8% of all PACS unions). Last, life expectancy is still increasing but at a slower pace. It is the highest in Europe for women but not for men, who are in ninth position. While France has an unusually low prevalence of deaths from cardiovascular diseases, the situation is much less favourable for mortality at younger ages, infant mortality in particular.

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