France has the baby blues as birth rate falls again

The Local France
The Local France - [email protected]
France has the baby blues as birth rate falls again
Photo: Evan Amos/ Wikimedia

France has long been proud of having one of the highest birth rates in Europe but the number of babies being made is on the wane, again.


France has long been known for having one of the highest birth rates in Europe, but 2016 marks it’s second consecutive year of decreasing birth rate after eight years of relative stability.

French national statistics institute Insee published it’s annual demographic report on Tuesday, it’s key finding showed that birth rates in France have dropped in 2016 to just 1.93 children per woman.  

In 2015, France had the highest birth rate in Europe at 1.96 children per woman, although this was down from the symbolic rate of 2 children per mother in 2014.

Insee reports that the lowering birth rate is partly due to the fact that there are less and less women of child-bearing ages in France.

The number of 20 to 40 year old women have been on the decrease in France since the 1990’s, as women born in the baby-boom period of 1946 - 1964 start to leave that age bracket.

READ ALSO: Population of France to pass 70 million by 2050

Despite reduced births, the total population of France has still grown by 0.4% in the last year, the report states.

As of January 1st 2017 there were 66.9 million people in France. 

This rise in population is because the number of births are still 198, 000 greater than the number of deaths. The number of deaths in France fell slightly last year by 7,000, after a steep rise in 2015.

Insee equally underlines that the birth rate in France is “nevertheless, high overall” far above Portugal, who in 2015 had the lowest birth rate in Europe at 1.23 children per woman.

In 2014 authorities reported that the birth rate in Paris had fallen to a 40-year low.

Critics said authorities must provide more nursery places to stem the falling birth rate. 

By Rose Trigg




Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also