Recent Demographic Developments in France

The Demographic Situation in France
By France Prioux


The flow of migrants into France has been rising since 1996, mainly from countries outside the European Economic Space (EES).
The total fertility rate registered another mild gain in 2001, to 1.9 children per woman. The fertility of women over 30 is still increasing, and that of women under 25 is recovering. Despite these developments, the completed fertility of the birth cohorts of the 1960s is declining, and may settle at slightly over two children per woman.
The introduction of the Civil Solidarity Pact (PACS, Pacte Civil de Solidarité) did not prevent the number of marriages in 2000 and 2001 from exceeding 300,000, the highest figure since 1983. Yet the proportions never married (according to the legal definition) are progressing strongly across cohorts.
In 2001, life expectancy at birth passed the threshold of 83 years for women and 75.5 years for men. At present, male gains are most significant in adulthood, whereas female gains are concentrated at the older ages.
Mean household size continues to fall; the mean number of persons per dwelling in the 1999 census was 2.4. Slightly more than three dwellings in ten are occupied by one person only. A large majority (60%) are women, but their predominance is weakening, as the proportion of men living alone is increasing rapidly at nearly all ages. By contrast, the proportion of men and women living as partners is declining at all ages except the oldest. Children are increasingly less likely to live with married parents, and more likely to live with unmarried parents or in one-parent families.

Go to the article on