Recent Demographic Trends in France

The Demographic Situation in France
Ongoing Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic at Both Regional and National Levels
By Didier Breton, Nicolas Belliot, Magali Barbieri, Hippolyte d’Albis, Magali Mazuy, Catriona Dutreuilh, Paul Reeve

On 1 January 2022, the population of France was 67.8 million, 187,000 more than on 1 January 2021. Numbers of births, abortions, and marriages in 2021 were higher than in 2020 but did not return to the levels observed before the COVID-19 pandemic (2019). Mortality followed a similar pattern, with an improvement in 2021, but not a return to pre-crisis levels. In 2021, France was one of nine countries in EU-27 with positive natural population increase, although net migration made a larger contribution to demographic growth. The French population is still growing, therefore, but more slowly than before the pandemic. In 2020, admissions of third-country nationals with a residence permit fell sharply due to the health crisis. Admissions for employment reasons decreased most markedly. Inflows were concentrated in the Paris region (Île-de-France). In 2021, the total fertility rate increased very slightly (1.83 children per woman) due mainly to an increase in rates at ages 30–39, with an age profile that varies across regions. The number of abortions remained stable between 2020 and 2021, but the share of medical abortions is increasing each year (77% in 2021), above all those managed in non-hospital settings. There are large geographical disparities, however, due to inequalities in care provision at local level. The upturn in marriages in 2021 only partially made up for those that could not be celebrated in 2020. PACS unions outnumbered marriages for the first time in 2020. Marriages are more frequent in eastern France, and PACS civil unions along the Atlantic coast and in the south-west. While lower than in 2020, the number of deaths remained high in 2021. Life expectancy in 2021 was still 4.6 months lower than in 2019 for men, and 1.4 months lower for women. Estimated excess mortality was 6.3% in 2021, after reaching 7.5% in 2020. The most affected regions are not necessarily those where mortality was initially high.

  • France
  • demographic situation
  • migration
  • fertility
  • induced abortion
  • marriage
  • civil union
  • divorce
  • separation
  • same-sex couple
  • ageing
  • mortality
  • cause of death
  • COVID-19
  • pandemic
  • region
  • Europe
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