France Sees Lowest Birth Rate Since 1994
According to the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Research (INSEE), the number of babies born in France in March 2021 has fallen to the lowest level in the country since 1994. The report reveals that an average of 1,816 babies were born daily in France last month, and there was a 7% decrease in the number of newborns compared to the same period last year.
The decline is more significant in the Ile-de-France and Occitanie regions, where the capital city of Paris is located, than in the overseas territories of France. The report attributed this decline in the number of newborns to both the decrease in the number of women of childbearing age and the slowdown in the fertility rate in recent years.
This trend is not new in France; the country has been experiencing a decline in its birth rate for several years now. Last year, 723,000 babies were born in the country, the lowest annual figure since 1946. In addition to the aging population, the deportation of over 161,000 people, many of whom had an immigrant background, was also a factor in the decrease in the population growth rate.
The declining birth rate is an issue of concern for the French government, as it can lead to a shortage of workforce and a decrease in the number of taxpayers contributing to the country’s economy. Measures to counter this decline include policies that encourage couples to have more children, such as financial incentives and an increase in maternity and paternity leave.
The French government also aims to attract more immigrants to the country as a means of increasing its population. Critics, however, warn that attracting immigrants may not solve the problem in the long term and that more comprehensive policies are needed to address the root causes of the declining birth rate.