May 24, 2022

The French population impacted by the Covid? INSEE has done the accounts

DEMOGRAPHY – The milestone of 68 million inhabitants has not yet been crossed, but it could be this year. But with 67,813,000 inhabitants on January 1, 2022, the French population has never been so numerous, notes INSEE in its demographic report published on Tuesday, January 18. We learn that France has gained around 187,000 inhabitants in one year, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

This 0.3% increase is the same as in 2020 and remains below the pre-coronavirus rate.

This small increase is due in particular to a weakly positive natural balance. The difference between the number of births and deaths is 81,000, which is more than in 2020 (66,200) but significantly lower than 2019 (140,100). After experiencing a decline nine months after the first confinement, the number of births has experienced “a sharp rise since the summer”. “The context of the health crisis and strong economic uncertainty may have discouraged couples from procreating in the spring of 2020 and encouraged them to postpone their parenthood plans. Fear of complications during pregnancy may also have played a role. In addition, during the first confinement, medically assisted procreation centers were closed”, notes INSEE.

About 67,000 more deaths from Covid in two years

As for the number of deaths, it remains much higher than it was before Covid. If this curve had already been increasing for a few years due to the aging of the population (the more people there are in the oldest segments of the population, the more the figures for the number of deaths increase), the epidemic has led to a significant excess mortality : about 47,000 more deaths in 2020 and about 20,000 more in 2020.

In the end, it is therefore net migration (difference between arrivals in France and departures) that explains most of the population growth. Provisionally estimated at 140,000, it “would thus contribute nearly two-thirds to the increase in the population”.

This global demographic report from INSEE also quantifies the expected rebound in the number of marriages. “After a year 2020 marked by a historic decline (– 31% compared to 2019), the rebound in 2021 almost makes it possible to return to the level of 2019, despite the health restrictions which continued throughout the year”, can we read. About 220,000 marriages have been celebrated, including 6,000 between people of the same sex.

Last consequence of the Covid crisis: it has reduced life expectancy in France. “Although on the rise, life expectancy does not return to its pre-pandemic level in 2021”, notes INSEE. Women have a life expectancy of 85.4 years (compared to 85.1 years in 2020, but 85.6 in 2019) which is the highest in the European Union. For men, it is 79.3 years (compared to 79.1 in 2020, but 79.7 in 2019), i.e. below Italy and Spain.

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