The concept of total population is defined by decree No. 2003-485, published in the Journal Officiel of June 8th 2003, concerning population censuses.
The total population of a municipality is equal to the sum of the municipal population and the municipality's population counted apart.
The total population of a group of municipalities is equal to the sum of the total populations of these constituent municipalities.
Total population is a legal population measure, referenced in many legislative and regulatory texts. Unlike municipal population, total population has no statistical application since it includes double counts, as soon as more than one municipality is involved.
This concept differs slightly from that in force at the time of the 1999 census: Total population (1999 population census).
The main change concerns pupils or students aged 25 or over with a family home in one municipality but residing in another municipality for the purpose of their studies: they are now no longer counted in the total population of the municipality which contains their family home. In 1999, they were included in this number.