Demographic trends in 2010: French population reaches 65 million
The total population of metropolitan France (mainland + Corsica) and overseas départements exceeded 65 million for the first time on 1 January 2011. In 2010, it rose by 358,000, the same pace as in previous years. This growth was due to the excess of births over deaths more than to net migration. The 828,000 births in 2010 matched the record levels of 2006 and 2008. Fertility increased, largely thanks to women aged over 30. The number of children per woman averaged 2.01, the highest level since the end of the baby-boom. The mean age at childbearing rose to 30 in 2010. The number of deaths (545,000) was very slightly below that of 2009-a year affected by a severe flu epidemic in January-but fell within the average of recent years. Life expectancy rose by four months, for both men (78.1 years) and women (84.8 years). After the pause in 2008 and the weak increase in 2009, this sharp rise may be seen as a return to the long-term trend. In 2010, three civil unions (PACSs) were signed for every four marriages. While the number of new PACSs rose 13% from 2009, the decline in marriages-which predated the introduction of civil unions-continued in 2010. The age at first marriage continued to rise, reaching 29.8 year for women and 31.7 for men.