Fertility in French regions since the 1960s
Fertility gaps have narrowed between regions of metropolitan France (mainland + Corsica) since the end of the baby boom. The traditional crescent of high fertility-stretching from west to east via the north until the 1960s-has vanished. In 2009, fertility was highest in the north-west quarter of France as well as in the Franche-Comté, Rhône-Alpes, and Provence - Alpes - Côte d'Azur regions. The least fertile region was Corsica, followed by Alsace and Lorraine, whose fertility matches that of south-west and central France. The mean age at first childbearing has been rising steadily since 1977. In 2009, it peaked at 31 in the Paris region (Île-de-France), a year older than in the other regions of metropolitan France. Fertility over age 28 is rising throughout the country but is higher, on average, in the southern half of France as well as in the Centre region and the Paris region. In these regions, fertility at all ages in 2009 exceeded its 1975 levels. In the overseas départements (DOMs), fertility is generally higher and begins earlier than in metropolitan France, particularly in French Guiana.