France: Life expectancy on the rise, but the birth rate has fallen to a historic low

FRANCE life expectancy

According to a new report from INSEE, France’s official statistical agency, the nation’s 68.4 million people are living longer, but the birth rate is steadily falling.

A report released by the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) has revealed that, for the first time ever, the average life expectancy at birth for French men has cleared the symbolic 80 years of age mark. The data, which is based on 2023 figures, equates to a 0.7-year rise on the same statistics from 2022.  

The average life expectancy for French women, meanwhile, has also increased: by 0.6 years to reach 85.7 years of age.  

Since the 1990s, the male life expectancy in France has been slowly closing the gender gap. 

In the Principality of Monaco, for comparison, the life expectancy of a man at birth was most recently set at 84.4 years of age and at 88.7 years of age for a woman. The average in the European Union is 80.1 years of age. 

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Also covered in the report was France’s “ageing population”. At the end of 2023, 21.5% of people living in France were aged 65 or over, with one in 10 aged 75 and older.  

This high proportion can be accounted for thanks to the tail end of the Baby Boomer generation nearing 65. “Boomers” are represented by people born immediately after World War II until roughly 1964. Globally, there are believed to be 1.1 billion people from this generation alive today, which is roughly 15% of the world population.  

At the same time, birth rates in France noted a drop of 6.6% from 2022 to 2023, with just 678,000 babies born. It is the lowest number seen since the end of the Second World War.  


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Photo source: James Hose, Unsplash