Occitania now officially has 5,986,000 inhabitants. -
Alexandre GELEBART / REA
This is played out by a few thousand inhabitants but Occitania has officially become, with its 5,986,000 souls, the fourth most populous region in France.
It rammed in Hauts-de-France the place at the foot of a podium still occupied by Ile-de-France, Rhône-Alpes and Nouvelle-Aquitaine.
Something to flatter the ego of Occitans failing to cheer them up because the latest delivery from INSEE, after a terrible year marked by the Covid-19, is far from compiling the good news.
73 days of life expectancy lost for seniors
Demographers point out in particular that, even if the region was relatively spared by the first wave of the coronavirus, the number of deceased inhabitants was 62,495 in 2020 (2,788 more than in 2019), a figure which had not not been "achieved for at least half a century".
The consequence is a loss of life expectancy of 73 days for those over 65, women and men alike.
The other downside is births.
While France maintains a positive natural balance, in Occitania we die more than we are born: there were 335 fewer babies than in 2019 and the fertility rate is now 1.7 children per woman. against 1.87 in 2014. They now have their first child on average at 31 years old.
But if Occitania bottle-feeds less, it largely compensates by attracting more and more.
In the end, in one year, it gained 37,500 additional inhabitants, increasing its population by 0.6% against an increase of 0.2% in the rest of France.
Coronavirus: 42,000 additional deaths in France in 2020 are attributable to the virus
Deaths: The death rate has increased by 14% in France since January compared to 2020