The sports licence is a unilateral act of the sports federation which allows, for one year, to take part in activities organised by the federation or one of its clubs (practice of one or more sports, participation in competitions), and possibly in the functioning of the federation (depending on the statutes of the federation).
Any other form of membership is considered to be another "titre de participation" (ATP).
The number of sports licences issued as well as the number of affiliated clubs is known through a census called "census of licences and clubs in approved sports federations". This has been carried out every year since 1949 by the Mission Enquêtes, Données et Etudes Statistiques (MEDES, the ministerial statistical service in charge of youth and sports) at the French federations approved by the Ministry.
These data list the licences and not the licensees (a licensee may hold several licences).
Source : mission Enquêtes, Données et Etudes Statistiques (MEDES), service statistique ministériel en charge de la jeunesse et des sports (site : https://injep.fr/mesurer/)