Demographic balance 2015 – The number of deaths at its highest since the postwar period
On 1st January 2016, France’s population was 66.6 million inhabitants, of whom 64.5 million live in Metropolitan France and 2.1 million in the five overseas departments. In the course of 2015, the population increased by 247,000, a rise of 0.4%. The number of births decreased slightly compared with 2014 (-19,000) and stood at 800,000 in 2015. The number of deaths increased sharply (+41,000), reaching 600,000 in 2015. This figure has never been so high since the postwar period. The natural balance, the difference between the number of births and deaths, was the lowest since 1976. Nevertheless, it remained the main driver of demographic growth, much greater than the migratory balance. Fertility in France remained high compared with other European countries, despite the short-term fertility indicator dipping below the bar of 2 children per woman. It stood at 1.96 in 2015, almost back to its 2005 level. The average age on giving birth, which is increasing constantly, reached 30.4 years. The effect of the rise in mortality recorded at the higher ages in 2015 caused life expectancy at birth to decrease substantially both for women (-0.4 years) and men (-0.3 years). It stood at 85.0 years for women and 78.9 years for men. While the number of marriages between people of different sexes remained stable between 2014 and 2015 (231,000), there were fewer same-sex marriages (8,000 in 2015). Hence the number of marriages decreased very slightly in 2015.