Wednesday, January 26

France. Fewer births, more deaths: the Covid accentuates demographic dynamics

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The direct effect of the first confinement

Interesting fact: the decrease in births was concentrated in the months of November and December, nine months after confinement (respectively – 6% and – 8% compared to the average of the last three years), analyzes the Institute. This decrease mainly affected the youngest women (before 25 years old) and the oldest women (after 40 years).

The French population continues to increase, but the Covid “has greatly slowed its progression”, underlines the public body. On January 1, 2021, France had 67.4 million inhabitants, i.e. 120,000 more than a year earlier.

During the 2010s, the French population (excluding COM) rose from 64.613 million to 67.064 million, an increase of about 2.5 million people over a period of ten years, far from the statistics of the start of the new decade. “The fall in the birth rate had already been committed for more than 10 years, but it accelerated in 2020”, specifies INED.

Weddings continue to tumble

“The number of marriages decreased in 2019 and the estimates published for 2020 show a collapse directly linked to health constraints”, also explains the National Institute of Demographic Studies in the review Population. This drop in the number of marriages is particularly strong from March to July 2020, without real catching up during the second semester (except in October
with + 28%). In 2019, the average age at marriage continues to decline for women and men marrying a person of the same sex and it increases slightly for other couples, so that the average age of all men and women of women is unchanged (37.9 years for men and 35.4 years for women), analyzes the Institute. “Marriage is in decline over the generations: 49% of men and 52% of women of the 1990 generations will marry at least once, against 62% and 68% for the generations born at the beginning of the 1970s”, calculates thus the public body.

France, still a champion of births in the EU

The natural balance (difference between births and deaths) is even negative in the last quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021. Over the year 2020, however, it amounts to +67,000, which is a figure “Hardly more important than the migratory balance”, notes INED which foresees a sharp decrease in residence permits issued for third country nationals, without yet having precise figures.

Despite everything, France remains the country with the strongest demographic growth in the European Union, which lost around 300,000 inhabitants in 2020.

If the health crisis has disrupted the demographic dynamics of France, it has however only marginally changed its age structure, resulting in only a very slight rejuvenation. Not enough to compensate, therefore, all these declining indicators.

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