The number of deaths is increasing, and so is life expectancy

Xavier Niel, Catherine Beaumel, division Enquêtes et études démographiques, Insee

The number of deaths in France has been rising since 2006 because of the ageing of the resident population. Cohorts are of unequal size, and the oldest cohorts are growing. The number of deaths and the total mortality rate are thus logically increasing. Taken separately, however, almost all the age-specific mortality rates are decreasing. The exception is infant mortality, which stopped falling in 2005 and rose in 2009. In the European ranking of lowest infant mortality rates, France accordingly slipped from 5th place in 1999 to 14th in 2008. Nevertheless, life expectancy has been rising steadily, reaching 84.5 years for women and 77.8 years for men in metropolitan France (mainland + Corsica). Since the mid-1980s, a growing proportion of the elderly are dying in retirement homes. Death seasonality varies with age. The elderly die more often in winter, the under-35s mostly in July and August. In the overseas départements (DOMs), infant mortality is two and a half times as high as in metropolitan France. Life expectancy in the DOMs is two years shorter for women and one year shorter for men.

Insee Première
No 1318
Paru le : 27/10/2010