Demography: the growth of the French population continues to weaken

All regions saw their demographic growth slow between 2013 and 2019, with the exception of Guyana and PACA, according to INSEE.

The growth of the French population continues to weaken, mainly because of a lower natural balance (number of deaths subtracted from the number of births), according to figures for 2019 published Wednesday by INSEE.

The French population grew by 0.4% each year between 2013 and 2019, against 0.5% between 2008 and 2013, according to this study. “It is still the natural balance that drives demographic growth in France, but it is less and less high”, explains the statistics institute. Net migration still contributes 0.1% of growth, but the natural balance lost 0.1 point to stand at 0.3% per year between 2013 and 2019. In general, all regions saw their demographic growth slow down between 2013 and 2019, “With the notable exceptions of Guyana and PACA. It is the only metropolitan region whose growth is strengthening, driven by the Var ”, detailed to AFP Valérie Roux, head of the demography department at INSEE.

While some territories are very dynamic, notably Île-de-France (1% growth each year for Seine-Saint-Denis) and the Atlantic coast (1.2% for Loire-Atlantique), 20 departments have lost inhabitants each year in France, compared to 11 during the previous period. “They are mainly located in the diagonal of the void, and Paris”, notes Valérie Roux. “In the very sparsely populated autonomous rural territories, the decline in population is due more to the natural balance than to the migratory balance: it is the effect of the aging of the baby-boom generation and the fall in the average number of child per woman “, she adds.

The outskirts of large cities in the lead

The most promising areas of demographic growth are located on the outskirts of large cities, such as Paris, Lyon, Marseille or Bordeaux. “Growth is indeed high when rural municipalities are under the strong influence of the poles (+ 0.7% on average per year)”, specifies INSEE in its study. Valérie Roux notes that “Provincial metropolises are very dynamic, in particular Bordeaux with very strong annual growth of 1.4%”.

Paris, it sees its population decrease each year (-0.5%) despite a strong natal dynamism which persists (+ 0.7% of natural balance). This fall is due to departures from the city, which causes it to lose a little more than 1% of its population each year. Nevertheless, “6 out of 10 households leaving Paris remain in Île-de-France,” notes Valérie Roux. The figures declared for 2019 will constitute the French legal population from January 1.

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