The French population projected to level off at 70 million

Population and Societies

429, December 2006

Though the population of France is ageing, there is no threat of "demographic decline" on the horizon. In fact, the INSEE projections for 2050 foresee a substantial population increase over the coming decades. While previous projections predicted a future downtrend, they now see stabilization or slow growth as the most likely long-term scenario. Laurent Toulemon and Isabelle Robert-Bobée examine the various scenarios envisaged and explain the reasons for this new prognosis.

According to the INSEE projections published in 2006, metropolitan France will have between 61 and 79 million inhabitants in 2050. The medium scenario forecasts a population of 70 million, and a process of population ageing. While previous projections foresaw a population decline over the long term, that of 2006 predicts an overall stabilization.
The small surplus of deaths over births should be offset by positive net migration. There is a large difference with respect to the figure of 64 million announced for 2050 in the previous projections (published in 2001). This is due to the upward adjustment of 2005 population figures and to higher fertility and net migration assumptions.

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