The French population will soon decline, assures INSEE

The French population is expected to peak in 2044, just below 70 million people.

We have never been so numerous in France. But despite the 67 million inhabitants who inhabit France, the country’s demographic growth is paradoxically slowing down. Today in France, the birth rate is 1.86 children per woman. If this is more than in Germany or the UK – 1.54 and 1.66 respectively – this figure indicates that there will be a tipping point, where aging will lead to a decline in the overall population, births no longer able to compensate for the inevitable increase in deaths.

According to the latest INSEE report on this subject, this point of change should arrive in 2044. The French population would reach its maximum that year, before it inexorably decreases. In this so-called “central” hypothesis, the birth rate will remain higher than the number of deaths until 2035.

A decline of two million to come

Then in the following decade the contributions of immigration should make it possible to maintain a stable population level, a situation which Germany is already experiencing today which owes its demographic salvation only to the arrival of migrants and other immigrants. The population on the other side of the Rhine is also expected to decline sharply in the coming years.

Still according to the INSEE report published on Monday, the French population should therefore never pass the bar of 70 million inhabitants, stopping at 69.3. About two million more than what we know today. By following this demographic hypothesis, INSEE estimates that the population of France should return to around 68 million souls around the year 2070.

A very unbalanced age pyramid

If these figures suggest that the current situation will continue, the reality is quite different. Because if the total population is approximately the same, the INSEE issues several alerts on the form that the age pyramid could take in the country. Indeed, according to the institute, seniors over 75 will always be more numerous, about five million more than today.

A very worrying figure especially when we know the French pension system, based on solidarity. The latter might not survive such a change in physiognomy within the French population. With fewer and fewer workers and more and more retirees, the former may no longer be numerous enough to pay the latter decently.

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