Academic journal article Population

Recent Demographic Developments in France: Tenth Anniversary of the PACS Civil Partnership, and over a Million Contracting Parties

Academic journal article Population

Recent Demographic Developments in France: Tenth Anniversary of the PACS Civil Partnership, and over a Million Contracting Parties

Article excerpt

I. Overall population trends and age structure

The population of France at the 2006 census

Based on the final results of the first five-year cycle of annual census surveys, the French statistics office (Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques, INSEE) has made a further upward revision of French population growth between the two most recent censuses (Pla, 2009). Between 1 January 1999 and 1 January 2006, the total population (metropolitan France + overseas départements) increased by 3.1 million, from 60.1 to 63.2 million inhabitants. The natural increase (excess of births over deaths) in this period was 1.78 million, while overall net migration is estimated at 0.62 million. An adjustment of 0.66 million, equivalent to approximately 95,000 extra people for each year between 1999 and 2005, was thus made to restore continuity between the two censuses. Provisional adjustments had already been made following the first annual census surveys (Desplanques and Royer, 2005; Richet-Mastain, 2006 and 2007), but this time they are final adjustments for the period 1999- 2005. Each year, the results from a new census based on five consecutive annual surveys (2007 census for the period 2005-2009, 2008 census for 2006-2010, and so on) are used to revise INSEE's population estimates for the years after 2006, which at present are thus provisional. Future adjustments should be smaller, however, because successive intercensal intervals have shortened considerably, and because no further changes are expected in the methodology.(1)

The adjustment made this year also concerns the population age distribution. The provisional population estimates from 2000 to 2006 were based on the totals by age enumerated in 1999, but the new age distributions also incorporate the totals by age from the 2006 census.(2) This leads to a slight adjustment of the structure by broad age group (Table 2)(3) and of the various demographic indicators (fertility, marriage, and mortality rates) based on these totals by age.

Stable growth in 2007 and 2008

The population of France on 1 January 2009 is estimated at 64.3 million,(4) of whom 62.45 million in metropolitan France (Pla, 2009). In 2008, the population of metropolitan France rose by an estimated 337,000, a figure practically identical to the previous year's increase of 335,000 (Table 1). This is because the 10,000 extra births and the estimated net gains of 5,000 from international migration were almost entirely cancelled out by an additional 13,000 deaths.

At 4.2 per 1,000, the rate of natural increase in France remains among the highest in the European Union (EU). Only in Ireland (10.4 per 1,000) and Malta (5.2 per 1,000) is the rate higher. Together with those two countries, France is one of the few countries where the natural increase equals or exceeds 3 per 1,000, the others being Luxembourg (4.1 per 1,000), United Kingdom (3.5 per 1,000), and the Netherlands (3.0 per 1,000) (Marcu, 2009). Despite a fairly generalized increase in births in 2008 - Germany was the only EU country to register a decline in births - they were still outnumbered by deaths (natural decrease) in eight countries: Bulgaria (-4.3 per 1,000), Hungary (-3.1 per 1,000), Latvia (-3.1 per 1,000), Lithuania (-2.6 per 1,000), Germany (-2.1 per 1,000), Romania (-1.5 per 1,000), Estonia (-0.5 per 1,000), and Italy (-0.1 per 1,000). Of these eight countries, only in Italy did the population continue to grow, thanks to substantial net gains from immigration. In the other seven countries, net migration was either negative (Bulgaria, Latvia, and Lithuania) or too small to offset the natural decrease (Germany, Estonia, Hungary, and Romania). Of the 21 EU countries with net immigration, the net migration rate in France (+1.2 per 1,000) was low compared to the estimated rates for most of the original EU-15 member states (except Germany, where net migration was practically zero in 2008) and to those of three new members which had large net inflows in 2008 (Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Malta: 6-10 per 1,000). …

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