Greying France having fewer babies

January 16, 2018
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

France may be Europe's most fertile country but even there the birth rate is falling and mothers are choosing to wait before starting a family, according to data released Tuesday.

A total of 767,000 babies were born in France last year—17,000 fewer than in 2016, a fall of 2.1 percent.

The death rate has meanwhile gone up—leaving the difference between births and deaths, known as the rate of natural increase, at a "historic low", national statistics office INSEE said.

It is the third year in a row that the number of babies born in France has declined, with the average Frenchwoman now mother to 1.88 children.

France nevertheless remains the European Union's most fertile country ahead of Ireland according to the most recent data available, INSEE said.

French mothers are meanwhile getting older, with the average woman choosing to wait until they are 30.6 years old before having their first child, compared to 29.8 a decade ago.

Like other Western countries, France as a whole has an ageing —posing a demographic headache since it means fewer people of working age are supporting a growing army of pensioners.

About 19.6 percent of the French population are now aged over 65, INSEE said, compared to 15.5 percent 20 years ago.

The population as a whole, however, went up—with France home to a total of 67.2 million people as of January 1, making it the European Union's most populous country after Germany.

On the migration front—a touchy political subject as President Emmanuel Macron looks to stem illegal arrivals—the country saw 69,000 more arrivals than departures last year.

Explore further: France expects 13 times as many centenarians by 2070

Related Stories

France expects 13 times as many centenarians by 2070

November 3, 2016
France, which already has the most centenarians of any European country, could be home to 13 times more people over the age of 100 by 2070, the national statistics agency Insee said Thursday.

France seeks 600 mn in taxes from Microsoft: report

August 30, 2017
France's tax authority is seeking 600 million euros ($715 million) from Microsoft's local subsidiary for billing French customers from Ireland, the weekly L'Express reported on Wednesday.

French families sue state to recognize surrogate births

June 19, 2015
The families of surrogate children who have been effectively denied French citizenship have gone to the country's highest court to challenge the law denying birth certificates for babies born abroad.

EU puts brakes on Macron's Google tax push

October 20, 2017
Several EU nations handed French President Emmanuel Macron a setback on Friday, as leaders said Europe should not go it alone on a new tax on US tech giants.

France to monitor air-borne farm chemicals

November 28, 2017
French air quality experts will begin monitoring the presence of air-borne pesticides and other chemicals at around 50 sites across France next year, their umbrella group ATMO France said Tuesday.

Brigitte Macron fetes first panda born in France

December 4, 2017
Named "godmother" to France's first panda cub in August, French First Lady Brigitte Macron helped baptise her fluffy charge on Monday in one of her most high-profile outings since her husband's election.

Recommended for you

First ever meta-analysis on Indian lead exposure reveals link to devastating intellectual disability in children

October 12, 2018
New Macquarie University research has revealed the devastating disease burden associated with elevated blood lead levels in India. The results of the first ever meta-analysis of Indian blood lead levels found the burden of ...

The long-term effects of maternal high-fat diets

October 12, 2018
If a mother eats a high-fat diet, this can have a negative effect on the health of her offspring—right down to her great-grandchildren. This is the conclusion drawn by researchers at ETH Zurich from a study with mice.

Sit-stand office desks cut daily sitting time and appear to boost job performance

October 11, 2018
Sit-stand workstations that allow employees to stand, as well as sit, while working on a computer reduce daily sitting time and appear to have a positive impact on job performance and psychological health, finds a trial published ...

Molecular link between body weight, early puberty identified

October 11, 2018
Becoming overweight at a young age can trigger a molecular chain reaction that leads some girls to experience puberty early, according to new research published in Nature Communications.

Hearing and visual aids linked to slower age-related memory loss

October 11, 2018
Hearing aids and cataract surgery are strongly linked to a slower rate of age-related cognitive decline, according to new research by University of Manchester academics.

Hundreds of patients with undiagnosed diseases find answers, study reports

October 10, 2018
More than 100 patients afflicted by mysterious illnesses have been diagnosed through a network of detective-doctors who investigate unidentified diseases, reports a study conducted by scientists at the Stanford University ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.