Recent Demographic Developments in France

The demographic situation in France
Some Differences between the Overseas Départements and Metropolitan France
By Magali Mazuy, France Prioux, Magali Barbieri, Jonathan Mandelbaum


The total population of France on 1 January 2011 is estimated at 65 million, of whom 1.9 million reside in overseas départements (DOMs). With growth of 11.2 per 1,000 in 2010, the DOM population is growing at twice the rate of metropolitan France (5.4 per 1,000), and its age structure is younger. Its fertility is slightly higher, at 2.4 children per woman versus 2.0 for metropolitan France in 2010, and the mean age at childbearing is younger (28.5 years and 30 years, respectively). The frequency of abortion in the DOMs is distinctly higher, and repeat abortions more common. The number of marriages in France remained stable in 2010, while that of civil unions (PACS) continued to grow but at a slower pace. Civil unions and marriages are celebrated at almost identical ages, but the age gap between civil partners is slightly smaller than for married couples. The frequency of divorce among longer marriage durations has increased considerably in the past 30 years. Life expectancy at birth in 2010 was estimated at 78.0 years for men and 84.7 years for women. Men have registered greater gains than women in the past 20 years, and the gains for both sexes increasingly concern mortality after age 65. Life expectancy at birth in the DOMs almost matches that of metropolitan France, but infant mortality is at least twice as high.


  • France
  • demographic situation
  • overseas départements
  • fertility
  • abortion
  • union and union dissolution
  • age at marriage and at PACS civil partnership
  • mortality
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