In 2019, there were 753,000 births in France. - JAUBERT / SIPA

France had more than 67 million inhabitants on January 1, 2020, an increase of 0.3% compared to last year, but limited by the continuous decline in the birth rate for five years, according to the latest figures published by INSEE, this Tuesday.

In 2019, there were 753,000 births in France (6,000 less than in 2018) and 612,000 deaths (2,000 more), a positive balance of 141,000 people but at its lowest level since the Second World War.

Fewer women of childbearing age

The fertility rate, which has been declining since 2015, is tending to stabilize, now standing at 1.87 children per woman compared to 1.88 in 2018. Population growth is driven in 2019 as in previous years by more births only through migratory balance. The difference between entering and leaving the territory is indeed +46,000 people, down from 2018.

The drop in births is confirmed in 2019, but at a slower pace pushing INSEE to mention in its annual report a "stabilization of fertility": 6,000 fewer babies last year, after 12,000 fewer in 2018, 14,000 in 2017, 15,000 in 2016 and 20,000 in 2015. This decline in the birth rate is partly explained by the decrease in the number of women aged 20 to 40, of reproductive age, those born during the baby boom (between 1946 and 1973) having gradually left this age group.

One of the highest female life expectancies in Europe

It is mainly due to the drop in the fertility rate (number of children per woman) which stands at 1.87 children per woman, compared to 1.88 (rounded) in 2018. This index drops for the 5th consecutive year, after hovering around 2 children per woman between 2006 and 2014. France remained the most fertile country in the European Union in 2017 (1.90 children per woman), ahead of Sweden (1.78) and Ireland (1.77).

Up in 2019, life expectancy at birth is now 85.6 years for women, one of the highest in the European Union, and 79.7 years for men, in tenth position only. The gap in life expectancy between men and women has nonetheless tended to narrow for several years. It was 5.9 years in 2019, as in 2018, compared with 6.7 years in 2009. The aging of the population continued in 2019. As of January 1, more than one in five people in France ( 20.5%) is 65 years of age or older (12.8% in 1985).


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