A Dark Year for Demographics in France

Source: FSSPX News

After the sixth consecutive year of decline in births, the natural population balance has again reached a lower point with excessive deaths, an aging population, and a historic drop in the number of marriages. 2020 will remain an annus horribilis for demographics in France.

The National Institute of Statistics and Studies (Insee) on January 19, 2021, published its demographic report for the year 2020 which, like every year, is based on estimates made in the previous November.

The best we can say is that French demographics are not experiencing global warming ... In 2020, the natural balance, i.e., the difference between the number of births and deaths, stands at +82,000 In 2016, this balance had reached its lowest level since the end of the Second World War, at + 198,000…

It hasn't stopped dropping since then. This decline is due to the continuing decline in births, but above all to the sharp increase in the number of deaths to be linked more or less directly to the COVID-19 epidemic.

A detail that is of great importance is that half of the population growth in 2020 is due to net migration, estimated at  + 87,000 people. 

As for births, the finding is also alarmist: last year 740,000 babies were born in France, or 13,000 fewer births than in 2019 (- 1.8%). The number of births has been decreasing every year for the past six years. While the decline seemed to stall in 2019 (-0.7%), it weakened again in 2020.

These figures should be compared to the 232,200 abortions officially recorded in France in 2019, which clearly contribute to making the country anemic and unfairly deprived of its vital forces.

Thus, in 2020, the total fertility rate (TFR) stands at 1.84 children per woman, after 1.86 in 2019. The TFR has been declining for six years, even though the decline had eased in 2019 (- 0.01). The TFR hovered around 2.0 children per woman between 2006 and 2014.

The corollary of these poor results: even if INSEE notes a large excess of deaths—linked to the Covid-19 epidemic—the aging of the French population is accelerating.

As of January 1, 2021, more than one in five people (20.7%) in France was 65 years or older. This share has been increasing for more than 30 years, and the aging of the population has accelerated since the mid-2010s, with the arrival at these ages of the first large generations born after the war.

Finally, 2020 was the year of a historic drop in the number of marriages, largely linked to the health context in our country. Thus, last year, 144,000 marriages were celebrated - INSEE accounts for 4,000 more when taking into account civil unions between people of the same sex.

This is a historic drop: -34.1% compared to 2019. Indeed, wedding celebrations were banned during the spring lockdown, then allowed, but with a strict limitation on the number of guests. Many marriages have thus been canceled and wedding plans postponed. There were almost no weddings in April-May, and significantly fewer than in previous years in June-July.

Demographic laws cannot be broken without a lasting effect: it takes decades to reverse trends. The French population is aging and no longer renewing itself, because it is killing its children. All that remains is to hope and pray that the eldest daughter of the Church will wake up in time.