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France's population exceeds 65m for first time

2011-01-19 10:30

PARIS - The French population has exceeded 65 million for the first time, the national statistics bureau Insee said on Tuesday.

According to the state organization, the increase was contributed more by birth surplus to deaths than by net immigration. In 2010, the country had 828,000 new born babies on a par with peak years of 2006 and 2008.

Each French woman now has at least 2 children on average, "the highest level since the end of the baby boom (1946-1973)," Insee said. On the other hand, life span increased by four months in 2010 for both men and women while the number of deaths slightly decreased from 2009 to 545,000.

Insee said the 2010 population increase was at the same pace as in previous years. But women's average age to give first birth has been postponed to 30 years in 2010.

Figures show that the French population is aging as people of 65 years or older already represent 16.8 percent of the 65 million, a proportion comparable to the European average.

The increase of life expectancy and aging of an army of baby boomers are two main reasons dragging France to age, Insee said. "Till 1 January 2011, the average age of men in France reached 38.9 years and women 41.9 years." When combining the two genders, the French are now on average over 40 years old.

France is not yet the oldest country in Europe. Germany now has 20.7 percent of its population over 65 years old, more than any other European peers.

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