Population projections 2021-2070 for France – Method and assumptions

Élisabeth Algava et Nathalie Blanpain

Documents de travail
No 2021-05
Paru le :Paru le29/11/2021
Élisabeth Algava et Nathalie Blanpain
Documents de travail No 2021-05- November 2021

The French National Office for Statistics, INSEE, has conducted a new set of population projections for France for the period 2021-2070. Like the previous ones published in 2016, these projections cover France as a whole (including five overseas departments).

The new projections are based on population estimates by sex and age as of January 1, 2021, published in March 2021. As the previous ones, these projections are made using the component method, i.e., based on assumptions about the three elements that determine population change: fertility, mortality and migration. Some methodological changes have been made in the projection of each component. In addition, the integration of new data available in the calculation of trends has led to new assumptions on the evolution of these three components. These trends were analyzed excluding the effect of the pandemic since 2020. Specific assumptions were made for 2021 and 2022.

A set of 30 scenarios was established, including a central scenario, 26 variants and 3 working scenarios. The variants make it possible to analyze the effects of a change in assumptions on the projected results.

The central fertility and mortality assumptions have been significantly revised. Fertility is lower than in the previous exercise (a total fertility rate of 1.80 compared with 1.95 previously). Life expectancy is reduced by 2.6 years for men and 3.0 years for women in 2070 (87.5 years of life expectancy at birth for men compared to 90.1 years in the previous exercise and 90.0 years for women compared to 93.0 years). The level of net migration has been maintained at +70,000 as in the previous projection, given the very high uncertainty surrounding this assumption and the recent data (an average net migration of 73,000 from 2014 to 2017, the last year for which the net migration is available).

The results were published in an Insee Première and in an Insee résultats : On January 1, 2070, according to the central scenario of the projection, France would have 68.1 million inhabitants, i.e. 700,000 more than in 2021.

Volume 1 of the working paper presents the method and assumptions used for the 2021 population projections. The choices were based on an expert consultation carried out in early 2021. Volume 2 contains the documents used for this consultation and the full responses of the experts.