France, Social Portrait2015 Edition
France, Social Portrait is for everyone who would like to learn more about French society. This cross-cutting publication in the “Insee Références” collection gives a broad overview of the social situation in France.
Fertility in France is resistant to the economic crisis
Following the economic crisis which began in 2008, fertility has declined in most European countries. France seems to be an exception: it is the only country in Europe to have a stable and high rate of fertility since 2006. In 2013 it was the European country with the highest fertility rate. Fertility in countries hit harder by the crisis, such as Spain, Greece and Portugal, has recently declined. This decline stems primarily from postponement of plans for parenthood: the age of first-time motherhood has increased to a greater extent in these countries than previously. In the other European countries, the upward trend in fertility observed before the crisis has not been maintained. While the fall in income has played a role in fertility trends, it is above all the increase in unemployment which seems to have had an influence. This effect however remains modest: an impact is only perceptible in the case of a sharp deterioration in the labour market. Family policies, while important in explaining differences in fertility levels between countries, do not seem to have softened the effects of the crisis on fertility.