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French Population to rise by 10 million people by 2050

Thursday 01 March 2007

The population of mainland France is set to rise to 70 million by 2050, up from 60.7 million in 2005, according to a recent study by the French national statistics agency, INSEE.

More significantly, one in three of the population will be at least 60 years of age, against one in five in 2005 – over 22 million people aged at least 60 years, compared with the current figure of 12.6 million.

INSEE forecast that life expectancy for women will increase to 89 years and that for men to 82.7 years.

Life expectancy of males in France is currently 76.7 years, and that for women 83.8 years.

French women have the longest life expectancy in Europe, whilst the life expectancy of French men is ahead of the European average of 74.9 years, but lower than men in Sweden, Malta, Italy, Spain, and Cyprus.

In a separate study, INSEE forecasts there will also be an increase of 25% in the number of households, with the number of persons in each household set to go down from 2.31 to 2.05 persons.

Whilst, in part, an aging population explains this decline in household size, the figure is also a result of people marrying later in life and high rates of divorce.

Over 40% of marriages in France now end in divorce, and an increasing number of couples are deciding to live together out of wedlock.

The increasing economic independence of women has lead to a reduction in the number of people choosing to live as a couple, a trend the study considers will continue.

INSEE forecasts that net migration would be around 100,000 a year.

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