Demographic Winter Has Fallen on France

Source: FSSPX News

There are more coffins than cradles. The latest birth rate statistics in France are alarming: the current trends indicate that the natural balance will be negative in the country in 2024, and the number of children born to at least one parent with an immigrant background is increasing. Western Europe has chosen its standard of living at the expense of the gift of life.

“The birth of children is the main indicator for measuring the hope of a people,” declared Pope Francis on the occasion of the States General on Births held in Rome on May 12, 2023. The engine of hope seems to have stalled for a long time in France, according to the latest birth rate figures in France, covering the first eleven months of 2023 and published by INSEE on January 16, 2024.

The observation is dismaying: the number of births in the country marked a decline of 6.8% compared to the same period in 2022. Only 621,691 babies were born in the territory, or 45,000 fewer than the previous year.

Another figure does not mislead: the fertility index in France went from 2.03 children per woman in 2010 to 1.8 in 2022. This is worrying when we know that the generation replacement threshold is at 2.1 children per woman.

But the birth rate situation in France is looked markedly different if we focus on the migratory origin of the populations present on its soil. According to INSEE statistics, since the year 2000, the annual number of children born in the territory from two parents who were themselves born in France decreased by 22%. At the same time, births of children with at least one parent born outside the European Union (EU) increased by 40% and those with two parents born outside the EU increased by 72%. Thus, almost a third (29%) of children born in France in 2022 have at least one parent born outside the EU.

For the record, the global fertility rate, which fell from 3.3 children per woman in 1990 to 2.3 in 2021, is expected to decline further to 2.1 in 2050, according to figures provided by INED. Conversely, the fertility index remains high in certain parts of the world: sub-Saharan Africa (4.6 children), Oceania (3.1 – excluding Australia and New Zealand), North Africa, and Western Asia (2. 8).

Countries where Islam is often the majority religion constitute for some the main reservoirs of European immigration.