I – General trends and population age structure
A population of 66 million
1On 1 January 2016, the population of France was 66.6 million, including 2.1 million in the overseas départements (Bellamy and Beaumel, 2016; Pison and Toulemon, 2016).
2In 2015, the population increased by 247,000, down from 305,000 in 2014. The growth rate in metropolitan France was 3.7 per 1,000 lower than in 2014, when it was estimated at 4.6 per 1,000 (Appendix Table A.1),  according to provisional data from INSEE.
3This decrease in the population growth rate (–0.09 percentage points between 2014 and 2015) reflects the combined effect of a fall in the crude birth rate (–0.03 percentage points) and a rise in the crude death rate (–0.06 percentage points). Net migration is estimated at +61,000. The growth rate from international migration was positive (+0.1%), but migration represented only a quarter of total growth. Thus, while its rate decreased somewhat, natural increase remained the principal driver of French population growth.
The over-60s outnumber under-20s
4While three years ago the proportion of children and young people below age 20 was approximately equal to that of persons aged 60 and above, the latter group is now larger (Appendix Table A.2). The proportion aged 60 and over is growing every year (from 18.1% in 1985 to 25.2% in 2016), whereas that of the under-20s is slowly decreasing (29.2% in 1985 and 24.3% in 2016). This trend will intensify in the next two decades. The French population is ageing from the top of the population pyramid. This is due both to a long-term trend of decreasing mortality, with more individuals living to advanced ages, and to the increasing age of the large cohorts born during the baby boom, whose collective position in the pyramid is shifting upward (Figure 1). The crude mortality rate will thus continue to increase even if life expectancy rises further (Pison and Toulemon, 2016).
Population pyramid of France on 1 January 2016
Population pyramid of France on 1 January 2016Coverage: Whole of France (including Mayotte).
5The base of the population pyramid is still relatively broad, although it has narrowed slightly due to a decreasing birth rate. This trend remains moderate in comparison to other European countries, however, where sharply declining fertility has accelerated demographic ageing.
II – Immigration from non-EEA countries measured using data on long-term residence permits
6Net migration, which measures the difference between arrivals and departures of persons to and from France over the course of a year, can be broken down into the arrivals and departures of French citizens and those of immigrants.  Some individuals in the latter group are obliged to hold a residence permit to reside in France, while others are not.  This section examines recent trends in the arrivals of foreigners from non-EEA countries who are required to hold a residence permit and who do in fact hold one. To ensure the consistency of comparisons over time, the statistics presented below are for a constant geographical area. They therefore exclude residence permits granted previously to immigrants from countries whose nationals are no longer obliged to hold one. 
7Flows of non-EEA nationals arriving legally in France to establish residence can be estimated from statistics on long-term residence permits and long-term visas valid as residence permits. They are based on data from the system used by the Ministry of the Interior to track the status of foreign nationals residing in France (AGDREF). The methodology used to calculate these flows is described in detail in d’Albis and Boubtane (2015). The basic principle is as follows: individuals arriving in France are counted among the inflows in the year in which they receive a first residence permit valid for one year or more. In most cases, this is the same as the year of arrival, but in some cases it is later (with a first permit allowing a longer stay).
A slight increase in the flow of arrivals
8Table 1 presents flows of persons granted a residence permit valid for one year or more between 2009 and 2014. A total of 199,957 permits were granted to foreign nationals in 2014, close to the peak levels between the years 2003 and 2005, when this figure exceeded 200,000 per year (d’Albis and Boubtane, 2015). The flow increased by nearly 4% from 2013 to 2014, but as a proportion of the French population, the number of non-EEA nationals with a residence permit remained stable. The number of permits granted in 2014 corresponded to 0.3% of the French population on 1 January of that year.
Number of first permits of one year or more issued to non-EEA nationals (constant geographical area) by first year of validity and period of validity
Number of first permits of one year or more issued to non-EEA nationals (constant geographical area) by first year of validity and period of validityCoverage: Residence permits issued in France and abroad to foreign nationals, excluding member countries of the European Union on 30 June 2013, as well as nationals of Vatican City State, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, the principalities of Andorra and Monaco, the Republic of San Marino, and Switzerland. Permits issued in year N and recorded in the data extracted in July of the year N + 2, except for 2009, for which the extraction took place in July 2012.
9Since 2013, these flows have been affected by the circular of 28 November 2012 which recalls the principles and clarifies the procedures for receiving and processing residence applications submitted by undocumented foreign nationals. In 2014, 5,894 residence permits were issued on the basis of the 2012 circular, versus 8,122 in 2013. The proportion of first permits valid for a period of ten years or more remained low, at slightly above 10%.
70% of arriving adults are below 35
10Permit recipients are young: in 2014, persons aged 18-34 represented 62.2% of total recipients (Table 2), and 70% of adult recipients. However, the proportion of minors increased considerably in 2014, rising from 9.5% of the flow in 2013 to 10.4% in 2014. A total of 20,699 minors born abroad to parents who were not French citizens received a residence permit in 2014. Note that minors born in France to foreign parents are not included in migration flows, by definition. They can apply for specific residence permits for administrative purposes or to travel; in 2014, 44,778 permits of this type were granted to persons born in France.
Distribution of holders of a first residence permit of one year or more by age group and first year of validity (%)
Distribution of holders of a first residence permit of one year or more by age group and first year of validity (%)Coverage: Residence permits issued to non-EEA nationals. See Table 1.
11As in previous years, a large majority of the first residence permits were granted to nationals of African countries; the proportion represented by this group increased between 2013 and 2015 (Table 3), but remained below the levels of the early 2000s (d’Albis and Boubtane, 2015).
Distribution of holders of a first residence permit of one year or more by continent of origin and first year of validity (%)
Distribution of holders of a first residence permit of one year or more by continent of origin and first year of validity (%)Coverage: Residence permits issued to non-EEA nationals by nationality of origin. Turkey is classified as part of Asia. Europe includes all countries in Europe that were not previously excluded (Table 1). The total does not necessarily sum to 100 due to rounding and missing values.
12A majority of recipients of residence permits were women, and their proportion has continued to increase, reaching 52.3% in 2015 (Table 4), the highest since 1998. In 2014, there were equal numbers of women and men among African nationals granted residence permits, whereas women formed the majority of those from all other continents. Trends in the proportion of women since 2009 differ between continents. It has increased among immigrants from African countries, and decreased among those from the Americas and Asia.
Proportion of women among holders of a first residence permit of one year or more by continent of origin and first year of validity (%)
Proportion of women among holders of a first residence permit of one year or more by continent of origin and first year of validity (%)Coverage: Residence permits issued to non-EEA nationals by nationality of origin. See additional details in the notes to Tables 1 and 3.
13Among women who provided information on their marital status (91%), 50.9% were married or in a civil partnership (PACS), and 45.6% were single. According to the AGDREF database, in May 2016, these women had a total of 71,186 children, of whom 42.4% were born in France.
Half of permits issued for family reasons, and a quarter for education
14Half of residence permits are issued for family reasons (which here includes permits issued to minors), while permits for education make up a quarter of the total (Table 5). In 2014, the proportions of permits issued for these two reasons decreased, and those of permits granted on humanitarian grounds and for employment increased. The humanitarian component covers two situations: first, foreigners with medical conditions (6,854 persons in 2014); and second, persons who received a residence permit because they had obtained refugee status (10,489 persons), were beneficiaries of territorial asylum (2,343 persons), or were considered victims of human trafficking (58 persons). Persons with these statuses are distinct from those who have filed an application for asylum in France. According to the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA), 59,025 persons filed a first application for asylum in 2014, slightly fewer than in 2013 but markedly more than in the two preceding years. A minority of asylum applicants are granted protection. Among the 14,391 persons issued a residence permit for employment-related reasons in 2014, the great majority (75.2%) were employees or self-employed workers. The rest were seasonal workers (8.2%) or either scientists or artists (16.6%).
Distribution of holders of a first residence permit valid for one year or more by reason for admission and first year of validity (%)
Distribution of holders of a first residence permit valid for one year or more by reason for admission and first year of validity (%)Coverage: Residence permits issued to foreigners, by the reason for admission listed in the AGDREF database. See additional details in the notes to Table 1.
15Women were over-represented among the recipients of permits for family reasons and under-represented among those receiving permits for humanitarian and particularly employment-related reasons (Table 6). Among students, women and men were equally represented.
Proportion of women among holders of a first residence permit of one year or more, by first year of validity (%)
Proportion of women among holders of a first residence permit of one year or more, by first year of validity (%)Coverage: Residence permits issued to foreigners, by the reason for admission listed in the AGDREF database. See additional details in the notes to Tables 1 and 3.
16Nationals of different countries were very unequally distributed among the different reasons for admission. Nationals of African countries made up a greater proportion of those receiving permits for family reasons (in 2014 they accounted for 70% of the permits granted for this reason), whereas nationals of countries in the Americas were over-represented among those admitted for employment and educational reasons (15.2% and 12.8%, respectively) and Asians were over-represented among persons admitted for employment, educational and humanitarian reasons (32.5%, 34.4% and 36.4%, respectively).
III – Births and fertility
A decline in births and fertility
17The estimated number of births in 2015 was 800,000 (762,000 in metropolitan France; Appendix Table A.1), an appreciable decrease with respect to 2014 (Bellamy and Beaumel, 2016), when 820,000 births were registered, of which 781,167 in metropolitan France. With definitive data for 2015 and new annual data for 2016 to be released at the end of the year, it will be possible to calculate this decrease more precisely and check whether it is continuing, as provisional monthly figures suggest.
18The number of women of reproductive age has decreased in recent years, with a 1 percentage point decrease in the proportion of women aged 20-40 years from 2000 to 2005, a 1.5 percentage point decrease from 2005 to 2010, and a 3.5-point decrease from 2010 to 2015. The rate of decrease has accelerated since 2013 (Bellamy and Beaumel, 2016). Combined with decreasing fertility (Appendix Table A.4), this explains why the number of births decreased more in 2015 than in previous years (in metropolitan France there were 20,000 fewer births than in 2013 and 2014, 30,000 fewer than in 2011-2012, and 40,000 fewer than in 2010).
Decreasing fertility at young ages and a slight increase at later ages
19According to provisional data for 2015, the total fertility rate fell from the 2014 level of 1.98 children per woman to 1.93. The downturn observed over the last five years follows a period of relative stability (Mazuy et al., 2013). It is still too early to say whether it represents a new trend or is due to temporary circumstances. The decrease has occurred mainly below the age of 35, and more particularly in the 25-29 age group (Table 7). The fertility uptrend observed in recent years among women aged 35 and over slowed considerably.
Fertility by age group since 2010 (per 1,000 women)*,(a)
Fertility by age group since 2010 (per 1,000 women)*,(a)* TFR: total fertility rate, sum of age-specific rates, children per 1,000 women. Due to rounding, the total may differ slightly from the sum, and the variations may not correspond to apparent differences.
(a) Provisional data.
Coverage: Metropolitan France.
20If this trend proves durable, it may be necessary to substantially modify our previous projections on cohort fertility. The latest estimates of completed fertility remain stable at around 2.05 children per woman in the cohorts born in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and mean age at childbearing remains unchanged at 30.1 years (Appendix Tables A.5 and A.7).
21Despite the recent downturn, French fertility remains among the highest in Europe. In 2014, it was the highest in the EU, ahead of Ireland, Iceland, and Sweden (Appendix Table A.6). Note, however, that while the total fertility rate (TFR) of countries with sustained higher fertility (Finland, Ireland, Norway, the United Kingdom) decreased in 2014, it increased in countries with lower fertility (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Spain). In two countries in the latter group, this rebound has been ongoing for several years. In Latvia and Hungary fertility has been increasing since 2011, from 1.33 to 1.65 children per woman in Latvia and from 1.23 to 1.44 children per woman in Hungary (Appendix Table A.6).
More births between July and October
22The monthly number of births varies between 60,000 and 73,000. Calculated as a daily average, it fluctuates between 2,100 and 2,350 (Figure 2). The peak in births occurs between the summer and the beginning of autumn (from July to October), and the numbers are lower in March in April. This seasonality has not been constant over time – it has evolved over the centuries. In the seventeenth century, births were most numerous between January and April. This historic seasonality was due notably to the timing of marriages and to the dictates of the Catholic calendar (periods of fasting), as well as to temporary migrations linked to seasonal agricultural work (Rohrbasser and Régnier-Loilier, 2011). In modern times, the peak has shifted away from these months. Currently, decisions to conceive, most often made in the summer, lead to a peak in births the following summer (due to the waiting time to conception), although couples would generally prefer a birth earlier in the year. Births are especially numerous in the second half of September, corresponding to conceptions at the end of the year, and notably on New Year’s Eve (ibid.).
Daily number of births in each month of the year (in 2010 and 2015 and in the period 2010-2015)
Daily number of births in each month of the year (in 2010 and 2015 and in the period 2010-2015)Coverage: Whole of France.
Nearly 60% of births are to unmarried parents
23Below 9% in the early twentieth century, and still lower in the 1960s (6%), the proportion of births outside marriage has been increasing rapidly since the 1970s (Daguet, 2002) due to major transformations in the family and the pluralization of family norms. Since 2007, the majority of children have been born outside marriage, and the proportion reached 57.2% in 2014, representing 57.7% of total fertility (Appendix Table A.4).
24Since 2002, the law has allowed both parents’ names to be passed on to their children.  In 2014, slightly less than 90% of children were given the name of only one of their parents, in most cases (83%) the father, and 6.6%, most often from lone-parent families, were given their mother’s name only. A little over 10% of children were given both names, with the father’s name coming first in eight out of 10 cases (Mazuy et al., 2015). The proportion of children given two names varies by geographical area (Table 8). In southwest France, for example, close to Spain, where children are automatically given both of their parents’ names (Bellamy, 2015), double names are more common than elsewhere in France; the proportion is more than 1 in 6 in Pyrénées-Atlantiques (18.9% in 2014), Pyrénées-Orientales (17.6%), and Ariège (18.2%), and slightly less in Lozère (15.7%). The practice is also more common in the other départements of southwest France, in Corse-du-Sud (16.3%) and Paris (13.6%), as well as in some overseas territories (more than 20% in Saint Barthélemy and New Caledonia). In contrast, the proportion of children given double names was below 8% in the Moselle, Loire, Bas-Rhin, Seine-Saint-Denis, Nord, Haute-Marne, Pas-de-Calais, Doubs, and Territoire de Belfort départements, and in some overseas territories. The mothers of children born in 2014 who were given both parents’ names were slightly older on average (30.8 years ) than mothers overall (30.5 years), whereas fathers in this group were slightly younger (33.1 versus 33.3 years). The age difference between the parents  of children given both names is smaller than the average age difference between parents: 2.3 years versus 2.9 years. Note that in 2012 the mean age difference was 2.5 years (Daguet, 2016). This lesser age difference between parents who both pass on their name to their child may be correlated with greater egalitarianism within these couples. These two indicators can be interpreted as markers of greater gender equality in relationships.
Percentage of children given both parents’ names and age difference (in years) between parents, by département, 2014
Percentage of children given both parents’ names and age difference (in years) between parents, by département, 2014Coverage: Whole of France.
IV – Induced abortion
Fewer induced abortions in 2014 and 2015
25The number of induced abortions has been decreasing since 2014 (Vilain, 2016). A total of 218,097 abortions were notified in 2015, including 203,463 in metropolitan France, versus 227,038 and 211,764, respectively, in 2014 (Appendix Table A.8), and 229,021 and 216,697, respectively, in 2013.  This drop is not entirely explained by the decline in numbers of women of reproductive age: the abortion rate among these women (aged 15-49 years) fell from 1.55% in 2014 to 1.49% in 2015. The mean number of abortions per woman for the year 2015 also decreased, to 0.53, after a slight increase in 2014. Indicators of the frequency of induced abortions are thus slightly down, as the total abortion rate continues to move with the total fertility rate (Mazuy et al., 2015). Data from abortion notifications can be used for complementary analyses to characterize other changes in the pattern of induced abortions. Analysis of these data shows that these patterns have changed substantially since induced abortion was legalized in 1975: the decrease in mean age at abortion (with a concentration during the period of sexual youth) has been accompanied by a shortening of the interval between first and second abortions. The proportion of women who have at least one lifetime abortion has decreased since legalization, doubtless due to improved contraceptive coverage. Repeat abortions have increased, however, although levels remain relatively low: under the conditions observed in 2011, 10% of women will have two abortions over their lifetime, and 4% three or more (Mazuy et al., 2014b). These changes reflect several different phenomena: the lengthening of sexual youth due to earlier sexual debut and later couple formation over the generations; the growing diversity of women’s sexual and reproductive trajectories; greater partnership instability; and contraceptive use which may vary with life situation, implying potential fluctuations in contraceptive efficacy (both theoretical and practical) that may lead to greater risk of unplanned pregnancy (Bajos et al., 2012 and 2013).
Little differentiation by abortion order
26The information in the new abortion notification forms introduced in 2011 can be used to analyse certain characteristics of women who have induced abortions by abortion order (Mazuy et al., 2014b). The results given below are weighted, as the abortions recorded in notifications are not strictly representative due to under-reporting of abortions, notably in private practice. The analysed variables were not adjusted for missing values, as we assumed that the reported values are representative of the whole. We thus hypothesized that non-response was not correlated to specific characteristics of the abortion or of the women, but resulted from the practices of recording information on the notification forms.  The results for the year 2012  show that the characteristics of abortions differed little by order, apart from the woman’s age, for obvious reasons (Figures 3A, 3B, 4A, 4B, 4C). The gestational age at abortion was the same regardless of abortion order. Women who have several abortions thus do not appear to have lesser access to care. The proportions of abortions performed in the public and private sectors did not differ between first and subsequent abortions, although first abortions were more often medical (Figure 4B).
Distribution of induced abortions by (A) woman’s age and (B) gestational age, by abortion order, 2012
Distribution of induced abortions by (A) woman’s age and (B) gestational age, by abortion order, 2012Coverage: France.
Distribution of various characteristics by abortion order, 2012
Distribution of various characteristics by abortion order, 2012Coverage: Metropolitan France.
27Nearly half of women reported being in a relationship at the time of the abortion. Women in a union had slightly more second and third abortions, whereas women without a partner, who were younger at the time of the abortion, had more first abortions.  Moreover, around a quarter of women having first abortions were students (Figure 5). For repeat abortions, women more frequently reported being unemployed or homemakers.
Women’s labour market status, by abortion order, 2012
Women’s labour market status, by abortion order, 2012Coverage: Metropolitan France.
28Repeat abortions are more frequent among women born abroad (Figure 6). We may postulate that these women’s reproductive trajectories are more complex (notably when they were of reproductive age at the time of migration); that some have more difficulty getting access to care in France; and that their contraceptive histories differ from those of other women, with periods where access to contraception is difficult (Rapport de la Commission IVG, 2016).
Women’s place of birth, by abortion order, 2012
Women’s place of birth, by abortion order, 2012Coverage: Metropolitan France.
29Moreover, just as the total fertility rate is overestimated for migrant women (Toulemon, 2004; Toulemon and Mazuy, 2005), total abortion rates may be affected by the same biases in their construction, as migration is closely linked to fertility.
V – Marriage, civil partnerships (PACS), and divorce
A slight increase in marriages, mainly due to same-sex couples
30In 2014, 415,023 unions (PACS and marriages)  were recorded, an increase of 7,642 over 2013 (+1.9%) (Table 9, Appendix Table A.9). Excluding Mayotte from the statistics, the growth was 1.7%. 
Number of unions officially registered in 2014, and change between 2013 and 2014, by type of union and the sex of the partners
Number of unions officially registered in 2014, and change between 2013 and 2014, by type of union and the sex of the partnersCoverage: Whole of France.
31This increase in the number of officially registered unions was mainly due to PACS unions between a man and a woman (+4,766) and marriages between same-sex couples (+3,155). The number of same-sex PACS increased very little (+176), while the number of heterosexual marriages decreased (–455). The largest relative growth was in same-sex marriages (+42%) but, as same-sex marriage were not legalized until late May 2013, the two samples are not really comparable. In 2014, the number of heterosexual marriages reached an all-time low (fewer than 231,000), while the total number of PACS is gradually returning to its 2009 level  (Table 10).
Number of PACS, 2009-2014*
Number of PACS, 2009-2014** Provisional data
Coverage: Whole of France, excluding Mayotte in 2009 and 2010.
32Marriages between a man and a woman represented 55.6% of unions officially registered in 2014, versus 56.8% in 2013. While heterosexual marriage remains the norm, its dominance continues to wane.
33Initial estimates suggest that in 2015 the total number of marriages reached a historic low of less than 240,000. The principal cause seems to be a drop in the number of same-sex marriages (Bellamy and Beaumel, 2016).  Since 2013, the year in which the law legalizing same-sex marriage was enacted, the monthly average number of same-sex marriages has fallen steadily (1,050 in 2013, 877 in 2014, 667 in 2015). This number is likely to stabilize in coming years, once all the couples who had previously been awaiting this measure have gone ahead with marriage. A similar pattern has been observed with other legislative changes and policy measures, such as the creation of the PACS in 1999 and the simplification of the divorce procedure in 2005.
Same-sex couples account for 4% of officially registered unions
34In 2014, 4.4% of all marriages and 3.6% of all PACS were same-sex unions. These proportions are higher than those observed in other countries in the year following the opening of marriage to same-sex couples, such as Belgium (3.1% in 2003), Spain (2.2% in 2006), or Canada (2.8% in 2006) (Cortina et al., 2013). The number of marriages and PACS between men is slightly higher than the number between women: out of all same-sex unions, 53.8% of marriages and 56.2% of PACS in 2014 were between two men. These proportions are very similar to, but slightly lower than, the proportion of male couples among samesex couples, estimated at 60% according to the 2011 family and housing survey (Enquête famille et logements; Buisson and Lapinte, 2013). This difference may reflect a greater tendency among lesbian couples to officially register their union, and/or more under-reporting of their union in the family and housing survey.
35In 2014, same-sex couples’ preference for marriage over PACS was greater than that of heterosexual couples (62% of officially registered unions, versus 57% for heterosexual couples). This tendency was slightly stronger for female same-sex couples (63.8%) than for male same-sex couples (61.7%). But a portion of marriages were between couples that had previously been in a PACS, as indicated by the concordance between the monthly distributions of marriages and PACS dissolutions (Figure 7).
Monthly number of PACS dissolved and marriages for (A) same-sex couples and (B) opposite-sex couples, 2014
Monthly number of PACS dissolved and marriages for (A) same-sex couples and (B) opposite-sex couples, 2014Coverage: Whole of France.
PACS for the youngest and marriage for the oldest
36In 2014, as in 2013, the proportion of PACS among all officially registered unions decreased with age (Mazuy et al., 2015). At ages 18-24 years, both marriages and PACS are relatively rare, but the majority of officially registered unions are PACS (61% among men aged 18-24 years and 56% among women), whereas couples registering a PACS later in life are a relatively small minority (around 30% beyond age 55).
37The proportion of unions registered between persons of the same sex, in contrast, increases with age (Figure 8): beyond age 55, same-sex couples made up nearly one in 10 officially registered unions (9% for men and 8% for women). Before age 40, among officially registered same-sex unions, the proportion of PACS is higher than that of marriages; beyond this age, the opposite is the case (Figure 8).
Proportion of marriages and PACS between persons of the same sex, by age, for each sex, 2014
Proportion of marriages and PACS between persons of the same sex, by age, for each sex, 2014Note: The data points correspond to the following age groups: 18-24 years, 25-29 years, 30-34 years, 35-44 years, 45-54 years and 55+ years. These are the age groups used by the Ministry of Justice in its publications.
Coverage: Whole of France.
Mean number of PACS and marriages (estimates based on rates)
38Marriage and PACS rates were calculated as a ratio of the number of marriages or PACS registered for a given age group to the mean population in this age group. This calculation can be performed for each type of union, and separately for same-sex and opposite-sex unions (Figure 9). Among heterosexual couples, the shape of the curve of age-specific rates varies little between marriages and PACS, with a maximum at 25 years or 35 years (marriages or PACS for men). Among same-sex couples, in contrast, marriages occur later, particularly for men.
Marriage and PACS rates in 2014
Marriage and PACS rates in 2014Coverage: Whole of France.
39The rate of marriages and PACS can be understood as a mean number of unions registered over a person’s lifetime under the conditions of the year. In the conditions of the year 2014, 39 out of 1,000 men would enter a same-sex union (PACS and marriages combined), as would 34 out of 1,000 women. The equivalent figures for heterosexual unions are 927 and 950, or nearly one such event over the lifetime per man or woman. The same couple can successively contract a PACS and a marriage. Women’s 950 lifetime unions can be decomposed into 405 PACS and 545 marriages (Table 11). Without more detailed data, notably on PACS dissolutions by specific reason (data not published) or on marriages according to the partners’ previous union status at the time of marriage (information not available in the marriage registration form, which provides information on marital status for vital records), it is impossible to further refine these indicators by calculating a mean number of contracts after correcting for double-counting of PACS and marriage contracted by the same couple.
PACS and marriage rates (per 1,000) in 2014
PACS and marriage rates (per 1,000) in 2014Coverage: Whole of France.
Different seasonality for marriages and civil unions
40For 2014, it is now possible for the first time to compare the seasonality of different types of unions. The contrast between marriages and PACS is more marked than that between same-sex couples and heterosexual couples. Seasonal variations in marriages and PACS are similar for same-sex and opposite-sex couples. The peak in marriages occurs between June and August, while for PACS unions, a slight peak is observed late in the year (Figure 10). The new rules eliminating the tax advantage for couples registered in mid-year altered the seasonality of PACS from 2011, but not that of marriages, whose symbolic value – not directly reflected in administrative data – is clearly linked to the associated wedding celebrations, which are easier to organize in the summer (Mazuy et al., 2015). The respective representations and modes of organization of marriage (festive, associated with summer, involving family, and often with many guests) and PACS (civil and administrative, less connected to traditional and family obligations, often more small-scale) are applicable in the same way to same-sex and heterosexual couples.
Monthly distribution of marriages and PACS in 2014, by partners’ sex
Monthly distribution of marriages and PACS in 2014, by partners’ sexCoverage: Whole of France.
More same-sex couples register their PACS through a notary
41From March 2011, when it became possible to sign a PACS before a notary, the proportion of PACS registered by notaries grew continuously until 2013. This trend ended in the year 2014 (Figure 11), without any change in the seasonality of the practice (the proportion of PACS concluded before a notary was higher in the fourth quarter). In 2014, the proportion of same-sex couples who signed a PACS before a notary remained higher than that of heterosexual couples, but the gap narrowed slightly.
Proportion (%) of PACS signed before a notary from 2011 to 2014, by quarter
Proportion (%) of PACS signed before a notary from 2011 to 2014, by quarterNote: The option of signing a PACS before a notary was introduced in March 2011, which explains why the series begins in the second quarter of 2011.
Coverage: Whole of France, excluding Mayotte.
Nearly three quarters of marriages are first marriages for both spouses
42In 2014, the majority of marriages were between two never-married individuals (71.8%), a proportion that, after decreasing steadily from the 1970s to the 1990s, has since remained relatively stable (Bellamy, 2016). The majority of same-sex marriages are between two never-married individuals at all ages; among heterosexual couples, however, this is true only up to age 47 for men and 45 for women (Figure 12). Among heterosexual couples, beyond age 53 for men and age 50 for women, the majority of marriages are between two people who have each been previously married. When only one of the spouses is marrying for the first time, in most cases the marriage is between an older man and a younger woman (Mazuy et al., 2015).
Distribution of marriages by age and marital status of the two partners at the time of marriage, 2014
Distribution of marriages by age and marital status of the two partners at the time of marriage, 2014Coverage: Whole of France.
43Same-sex marriages are more rarely between ever-married individuals, mainly because same-sex marriage was legalized very recently. But the proportion of marriages where one spouse is ever-married is by no means negligible, exceeding 20% above age 45. In almost all such cases, the ever-married spouse was previously married to a person of the opposite sex; this situation is more common among female couples, and notably the oldest women.
Young men are more likely to marry a woman who is close in age
44Men who married in 2014 (for the first time or not) were older on average than women who married in the same year. The mean age was 37.9 years for men and 35.2 years for women. On average, marriages between persons of the same sex happened later: the mean age was 46.2 years for men and 41.4 for women, versus 37.5 and 34.9 for men and women in heterosexual marriages.
45The proportion of persons marrying someone whose age is close to their own (2 years or less) varies by age and sex (Figure 13). There is a relatively classic effect of sex: men who marry a woman at a very young age generally marry an equally young woman (more than 70%). This effect becomes less pronounced as age increases. Among women, the proportion marrying a partner who is close in age increases between the ages of 20 and 25 years before beginning a steady decrease. The same is true of same-sex couples; however, they are distinguished, for women, by a slightly higher proportion of such unions at age 20. This points to the existence of very young same-sex couples who decided to marry in 2014, possibly in order to affirm their sexual orientation, combined with a cohort effect, as these young people were the first to be given the option of marrying a person of the same sex after reaching their majority. Finally, men aged 55 years and above are, in proportional terms, the group where the age gap between partners is widest, whether they marry a man or a woman.
Proportion of couples where the age difference between partners is 2 years or less, by sex and age, 2014
Proportion of couples where the age difference between partners is 2 years or less, by sex and age, 2014Coverage: Whole of France, married persons aged 20-65.
A growing number of marriages involve at least one non-French person
46In 2014, in metropolitan France, the proportion of marriages between two non-French persons reached an all-time high of 3.6% (8,759 marriages). The proportion of mixed marriages (one French and one non-French partner) reached 14.1%  (34,060 marriages). For heterosexual marriages alone, this proportion was 14.3%, equal to the figure for 2006 after a peak in mixed marriages between 2002 and 2005 (Prioux, 2007). The sex of the non-French partner in mixed opposite-sex marriages is evenly split between male and female.
47Mixed marriages were less common between two women (5.2%, versus 15.0% for marriages between two men, Table 12).
Distribution of marriages by the two spouses’ nationalities, 2014
Distribution of marriages by the two spouses’ nationalities, 2014Coverage: Whole of France.
48The mean age difference between spouses in mixed marriages was larger, notably when the woman was not French. In this case, in 2014, the age difference (absolute mean difference)  was 5.3 years, versus 4.1 years for marriages between two non-French persons and 2.4 years for marriages between two French citizens.
Confirmation of the decrease in first marriages
49Since the year 2000, total first marriage rates and the overall probability of first marriage (life table intensity) have continuously decreased, reaching, respectively, 0.45 and 0.54 for women and 0.44 and 0.51 for men (Appendix Table A.9). This decrease has also been observed across cohorts: the proportion of women and men who have married at least once by age 49 was calculated at 0.66 and 0.62 for the 1975 cohort, a proportion that was reached at age 30 in the 1960 cohort (Appendix Table A.10).
50In contrast to first marriage rates, which are defined in relationship to the entire population of a given age, these probabilities include only people of a given age who have never married. Since 2000, first-marriage probabilities have been decreasing for all ages under 40 years. The probability that never-married persons will marry for the first time has markedly decreased (Figure 14).
Age-specific probability of first marriage by sex (per 10,000 never-married persons), in 1993, 2000, 2007 and 2014
Age-specific probability of first marriage by sex (per 10,000 never-married persons), in 1993, 2000, 2007 and 2014Coverage: Whole of France (2014), metropolitan France (1993, 2000 and 2007).
51Additionally, the timing of men’s and women’s marriages seems to be converging. The gender difference in mean age at first marriage (calculated on the basis of first marriage tables) has never been smaller: 1.5 years in 2014 (33.6 years for men and 32.1 years for women), versus 1.8 years in 2007 and 2.0 years in 2000. The figure in the 1960s was 3 years.
52The decrease in the marriage rate and the later age at first marriage do not simply reflect a delay in union formation, as shown by the first analyses of the data from the ÉPIC survey (Étude des parcours individuels et conjugaux; Rault and Régnier-Loilier, 2015) and individual census forms (Figure 15). Before age 45, the proportion of men and women who report being in a union (cohabiting or not) is always much higher than the proportion of ever-married persons. Moreover, before age 35, the 2006 and 2012 curves for persons in a union are aligned, whereas for ever-married persons there is a substantial gap. De facto situations remained stable, but couples were less often married. A portion of this gap is linked to the growing popularity of the PACS over this period (Appendix Table A.9).
Proportion of ever-married persons who were in a union at the time of the census, by age and sex, 2006 and 2012
Proportion of ever-married persons who were in a union at the time of the census, by age and sex, 2006 and 2012Coverage: Whole of France, excluding Mayotte.
A significant decrease in divorces
53The number of divorces in France fell by 1,678 between 2013 and 2014, reaching its lowest level since 2002. This fall is due more to a lesser tendency to divorce than to a decrease in the number of people who are married (and thus potentially able to divorce). Between 2010 and 2014, the number of divorces decreased by 8% while the number of married persons decreased by only 1% (Bellamy, 2016). In 2014, the total divorce rate – the sum of divorce rates for marriages of different durations – was 44.1 per 100 marriages, a figure that decreased very slightly over the period 2010-2014, and even 2004-2014, with the exception of the year 2005, when a simplification and shortening of divorce procedures led to a significant temporary upturn (law of 26 May 2004) (Appendix Table A.9).
54Divorce began to increase in the 1970s (Sardon, 1996). Before this period, the probability of divorce was very low, with only 5% of marriages ending in divorce within the first 10 years of marriage, and less than 10% overall. The recent decrease in the propensity to divorce is reflected in the year-on-year decreases or stagnation in the proportion of couples having divorced in different marriage cohorts, regardless of marriage duration (Figure 16). This trend is particularly clear-cut between 4 and 10 years of marriage.
Proportion of marriages that have already ended in divorce, by duration and year of marriage
Proportion of marriages that have already ended in divorce, by duration and year of marriageCoverage: Metropolitan France.
55The probability of divorce depends mainly on the duration of marriage. In 2014, as in 2013, divorce rates were highest at 5 years of marriage (Bellamy, 2016; Mazuy et al., 2015). Age-specific divorce rates can also be calculated using the number of divorces at each age and the mean population of persons of that age, married or not (Figure 17A) or the mean population of married persons of that age (Figure 17B). In the second case, the indicators reflect the risk of divorce, whereas in the first, the curve is close to that of the distribution of divorces by age (given the relative stability of cohort sizes over time). Divorce is most frequent at ages 40-45, while the risk of divorce is constant between ages 22 and 45 years for women and 25 and 45 years for men.
Divorce rate by age and sex among (A) all persons and (B) married persons, 2014
Divorce rate by age and sex among (A) all persons and (B) married persons, 2014Coverage: Whole of France.
Fewer minor children affected by divorce
56The number of children affected by a divorce continued to fall in 2014, as the number of divorces of couples with dependent children went down. In total, there were 113,876 divorces involving minor children in 2014, versus 116,579 in 2013. This 2.3% decrease is greater than the overall decrease in the number of divorces (–1.2%). The number of divorces involving at least one minor child fell by nearly 4% in a single year (54,838 in 2014 versus 57,054 in 2013), whereas the number of divorces involving no minor children remained virtually stable (59,525 in 2013 and 59,038 in 2014).
Dissolutions of PACS unions increased in 2014
57The number of PACS dissolved in 2014 increased by 6,727 with respect to 2013 (Table 13). This is greater than the increase in the number of PACS signed, but represents a slowing in comparison to the previous periods (+8,033 between 2012 and 2013, and +9,505 between 2011 and 2012). The opening of marriage to same-sex couples in 2013 explains a portion of the increase in the absolute number of dissolutions per marriage, but the proportion of PACS dissolved by marriage has remained virtually unchanged (49.8% in 2012, 50.5% in 2014), given the small proportion of same-sex couples in the total population of couples in a PACS union. In 2014, technical improvements in data transmission enabled the Ministry of Justice to update its statistics, particularly on dissolutions by marriage and by death. This correction was very large, with the number of dissolutions rising from 55,977 (published in 2015) to 69,540 (published in 2016). These improvements, along with access to microdata files, should permit future longitudinal analysis of PACS cohorts.
Number of PACS dissolutions by reason, 2010-2014
Number of PACS dissolutions by reason, 2010-2014Note: The total number of PACS dissolved in previous years was updated in 2016 by the Ministry of Justice, but the detail by cause of dissolution has not yet been corrected. This should be done in the coming months and will be available directly on the Ministry website.
Coverage: Whole of France.
VI – Mortality
Higher mortality in 2015
58In 2015, there were 600,000 deaths in France, representing a crude mortality rate of 9.1 per 1,000. An increase of 41,000 over the previous year brought mortality to its highest level in six decades. This increase is partly explained by population ageing and the growing proportion of older adults who have a high risk of dying. It also stems from the fact that the cohorts born immediately after the First World War, just after the smaller wartime cohorts, are now reaching the advanced ages at which mortality is highest (Pison and Toulemon, 2016). But the increase in deaths in 2015 was not exclusively due to these structural effects; life expectancy, which provides a measure of changes in risks of death independently of the population age distribution, also fell sharply. The provisionally estimated figures of 79.0 years for men and 85.1 years for women (Appendix Table A.11) represent a decrease of 0.3 years for men and 0.4 years for women, or a loss of three-and-a-half and five months, respectively, in comparison to 2014.
59This increase in risk of death resulted, first of all, from the inhabitual timing and intensity of the annual influenza epidemic. Because the epidemic was particularly long and concentrated in the first months of 2015, rather than being spread throughout the winter months of 2014-2015, it led to an estimated 24,000 additional deaths with respect to 2014 (Bellamy and Beaumel, 2016). Most of these deaths occurred among the population aged 65 and over. The flu vaccine, whose coverage is decreasing, was also relatively ineffective in 2015. The vaccine composition changes annually in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organization, which attempts to anticipate mutations in the virus by continuously monitoring the appearance of new strains. Unfortunately, the strain responsible for the 2015 epidemic appeared too late to be taken into account by vaccine manufacturers (Pavia, 2016). An estimated 2,000 excess deaths occurred during the heat wave of summer 2015, and 4,000 more during the cold spells of autumn 2015 (Bellamy and Beaumel, 2016). However, it will not be possible to determine whether the 2015 upturn reflects a one-off event or a change in long-term trends until the publication of definitive cause-specific mortality statistics.
France maintains its advantage over its neighbours
60Insofar as the factors responsible for the mortality increase in France also affected various other European countries (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, 2016), international rankings of life expectancy at birth are unlikely to be substantially altered, although the information required to confirm this is not yet available.
61The latest updates of Eurostat data show that in 2014, women’s life expectancy at birth was above 80 years in almost all European countries, with the exception of certain eastern countries (Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, and Romania). Life expectancy is above 84 years in the most advantaged countries, with Spain and Italy at the top, followed closely by France and Switzerland (Appendix Table A.12). The difference between the countries at the opposite extremes of the European ranking (Spain and Bulgaria) is nearly 8 years.
62The dispersion in male life expectancy is even larger, with a difference of more than 12 years between Latvia (69.1 years) and Iceland (81.3 years), which is followed by Switzerland (81.1 years). France, in 11th place (out of 29) in 2014, is toward the upper end of the ranking (79.2 years), alongside Austria, and is very close to the other rich, populous countries of the region, such as Germany and the United Kingdom.
63However, there is still a large gap between male and female mean length of life in France (6.2 years), which reflects a wider gender divide in deaths from external causes (many road traffic deaths among young men) and cancer deaths (from age 40 onward) than in other countries. Only a group of eastern European countries have an equal or greater sex differential in life expectancy. It is above 10 years in Latvia and in Lithuania (where it has reached a record high of 10.9 years), whereas in other European countries it is below 5 years, with the exception of Portugal (6.4 years).
64The countries of eastern Europe also have the highest infant mortality, with a rate of above 8 per 1,000 births in Romania. In almost all other European countries, the probability of dying before age one is below 4 per 1,000. Iceland and Scandinavia are particularly advanced in this area, with infant mortality below 3 per 1,000 (Appendix Table A.13). France is toward the upper end of the ranking, with an infant mortality rate of 3.3 per 1,000, but the country’s favourable position in the international ranking for life expectancy at birth is mainly due to its comparatively low mortality at advanced ages.
Relatively high premature mortality
65Premature mortality – defined as death before age 65 – has decreased considerably since 1970. Life tables for that year show that 32% of men and 17% of women died before reaching age 65. By 2012, these proportions had almost halved, to 17% of men and 8% of women.
66And yet France’s ranking for this indicator is not particularly good for men, and its position has actually deteriorated over time (Figure 18). Until the second half of the 1980s, the proportion of male survivors at age 65 was higher in France than the median of 19 other European countries, but the two figures have since been practically identical. The situation is the same for mortality in different broad age groups: children (0-15 years, Figure 19), young adults (15-35 years, Figure 20), and mature adults (35-65 years, Figure 21). At each age, the probability of dying in France in 2012 was very close to the median of other European countries. Between the 1970s and the 1990s, child mortality in France was lower than the European median; for young adults, in contrast, it was higher until the late 1990s due to relatively high mortality from external causes. Mortality at ages 35-65 has remained stable at around the median since the beginning of the period considered here (1970).
Survivors at age 65 (%) by sex, in France and 19 other European countries, 1970-2012
Survivors at age 65 (%) by sex, in France and 19 other European countries, 1970-2012Note: The scales used for men and women on the graph are different.
Construction: T hese graphs show the distribution of the proportion of survivors at age 65 according to annual life tables for 20 countries and for each year from 1970 to 2012. The box includes half of the observations (those which fall between the first and third quartiles). The thick black line within each box represents the median. The whiskers above and below the box correspond to the lower and upper limits, known as “adjacent values”. The adjacent values are calculated from the interquartile range. High and low values not included in this range are represented by circles positioned below or above the whiskers
Interpretation: In 1970, the median of the proportion of male survivors at age 65 in the countries considered here was 67%, the first and third quartiles were 64% and 70%, and the adjacent values were 62% and 77%. In other words, in half of the countries considered, the proportion of male survivors at age 65 in the life table was below 67%, and in the other half it was above this value.
Coverage: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden. Among the countries in Appendix Table A.12, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, and Slovenia are excluded due to missing data.
Probability of dying before age 15 (%) by sex, in France and 19 other European countries, 1970-2012
Probability of dying before age 15 (%) by sex, in France and 19 other European countries, 1970-2012Interpretation: This graph was constructed in the same way as Figure 18, but takes account of the distribution of the probability of dying before age 15. In 1970, in 25% of the countries considered, the probability of dying before age 15 for males was above 3.92%; in 50% of countries it was above 3.26%; and in 75% of countries it was above 2.81%.
Coverage: See Figure 18.
Probability of dying at ages 15-35 (%) by sex, in France and 19 other European countries, 1970-2012
Probability of dying at ages 15-35 (%) by sex, in France and 19 other European countries, 1970-2012Note: The scales used for men and women on the graph are different.
Interpretation: This graph was constructed in the same way as Figure 18, but takes account of the distribution of the probability of dying at ages 15-35 (i.e. the probability of dying before age 35 for all individuals having survived to their 15th birthday). In 1970, in 25% of the countries considered, the probability for men of dying at ages 15-35 years was above 3.59%, in 50% of countries it was above 3.23%, and in 75% of countries it was above 2.37%.
Coverage: See Figure 18.
Probability of dying at ages 35-65 (%) by sex, in France and 19 other European countries, 1970-2012
Probability of dying at ages 35-65 (%) by sex, in France and 19 other European countries, 1970-2012Note: The scales used for men and women on the graph are different.
Interpretation: This graph is constructed in the same way as Figure 18, but takes into account the distribution of the probability of dying at ages 35-65 (i.e. the probability of dying before age 65 for all individuals having survived to their 35th birthday). In 1970, in 25% of the countries considered, the probability of dying for men aged 35-65 was above 3.33%, in 50% of countries it was above 2.99%, and in 75% of countries it was above 2.74%.
Coverage: See Figure 18.
67For women, France’s relative position is considerably better. Since 1970, France has consistently ranked in the top quartile of countries. As in the case of male mortality, females’ probability of dying before age 15 remained low in comparison to other European countries until recently (around 2005), but has since moved closer to the median (Figure 19). Note, however, that for both sexes, the dispersion in childhood mortality in different countries has decreased considerably, converging strongly in the 2000s.
68In 2012, however, female mortality after age 15 was very low in comparison to other European countries. While women’s probability of dying between the ages of 15 and 35 years was close to the European maximum in 1970, when France ranked 16th out of 20, the country then progressively caught up and rose to 8th place in 2012 (Figure 20). But it is above all at ages of 35-65 that French women have had a consistent and clear advantage with respect to their neighbours since 1970, with a position in the international ranking hovering between 5th and 6th place (Figure 21).
But relatively low mortality beyond age 65
69Life expectancies at age 65 and over are very high in France in comparison to the rest of Europe, for both sexes; since the second half of the 1980s for men and since a much earlier date for women (Figure 22). French mortality is low both at ages 65-85 and after age 85. The country has been at the top of the European ranking for the probability of dying at ages 65-85 since 1984 for women and since 1990 for men. The same has been true of life expectancy at age 85 for women since 1988, while for men France has disputed the top position with Spain since 1991. In 2012, French women who survived to their 85th birthday could expect to live another 7.4 years on average, versus 5.0 years in 1970, while for French men the figure was 6.0 years, versus 4.2 years in 1970.
Life expectancy at age 65 (in years) by sex, in France and 19 other European countries, 1970-2012
Life expectancy at age 65 (in years) by sex, in France and 19 other European countries, 1970-2012Interpretation: This graph is constructed in the same way as Figure 18, but takes account of the distribution of life expectancies at age 65. In 1970, in 25% of the countries considered, male life expectancy at age 65 was above 13.4 years, in 50% of countries it was above 12.3 years, and in 75% of countries it was above 12.0 years.
Coverage: See Figure 18.
Cancer, the leading cause of death
70As cardiovascular mortality declined, cancer became the leading cause of death in France, beginning in 1988 for males and 1999 for females. Despite a significant decrease in the standardized cancer mortality rate (–21% for males, –23% for females between 1970 and 2012), the share of cancers in overall mortality is very similar for both sexes, and has increased identically for males (from 22% in 1970 to 37% in 2012) and females (from 21% to 36%), as mortality from all other causes has decreased more quickly. For females, mortality from all types of cancer (124 annual deaths per 100,000) is only of half of the rate for males (233 per 100,000).
71Cancer mortality among children is also non-negligible – cancer is responsible for 6-7% of total deaths below age 15. In men and women aged 15-34, the respective proportions are 12% and 24%. The contribution of cancer to premature adult mortality is particularly high: among women aged 35-64, this cause of death accounts for 57% of total deaths, and 44% for men in the same age range. At ages 65-84, the proportion is virtually the same for men (44%) and women (43%). It drops to 22% and 15% at the most advanced ages, 85 years and over (Table 14). Beginning at the ages of 40-45 years, however, cancer mortality is 1.5 to 2 times lower for women than for men in each five-year age group.
Standardized mortality rate by broad age group in 2012* (per 100,000) and distribution by cause of death (%)*
Standardized mortality rate by broad age group in 2012* (per 100,000) and distribution by cause of death (%)** These rates are slightly different to those in Appendix Table A.14 because of the calculation method used. Here, deaths from ill-defined causes were distributed proportionally across the other categories. For a definition of the major groups of causes and of the method used to distribute ill-defined causes, see Meslé (2006).
72For males, the leading causes of cancer death are lung cancers (the standardized mortality rate from these cancers represents a quarter of the total for all cancers), followed by colorectal cancers, prostate cancer, and cancer of the blood-forming organs, whose rates are very similar, and finally, cancers of the upper aerodigestive tract, the œsophagus, and the stomach. Mortality from all of these cancers has been steadily decreasing since the 1980s (and longer for stomach and colorectal cancers), with the notable exception of cancers of the blood-forming organs, whose rate increased gradually until the 2000s and has since stabilized (Figure 23).
Standardized cancer mortality rates, by sex, 1970-2012
Standardized cancer mortality rates, by sex, 1970-2012Note: Moving average of standardized rates over three calendar years. UADT = upper aerodigestive tract.
73For females, the leading cause of cancer death is breast cancer (which accounts for nearly 20% of mortality from all cancers), followed by lung cancer, cancer of the blood-forming organs, and then of the uterus, the stomach and, much further behind, of the upper aerodigestive tract and the œsophagus (Figure 23). While lung cancer mortality has been rising sharply for four decades, breast and stomach cancers are both decreasing, although their levels are very different, at 236 and 28 per 100,000 in 2012, respectively. Because female tobacco consumption continued to increase until 2010, lung cancer could even become the leading cause of female cancer mortality by 2020. Contrary to males, standardized rates of other cancers in females seem to have stabilized, some time ago for less common cancers (of the upper aerodigestive tract and the œsophagus), and more recently for colorectal cancer and cancer of the blood-forming organs and the uterus (which even seems to have increased slightly since 2010).
Continued high mortality from cardiovascular diseases above age 65
74Decreasing mortality due to diseases of the circulatory system is the main factor behind progress in life expectancy since 1970 in France as in other industrialized countries (Ouellette et al., 2014). The drop has been spectacular both before and after age 65, with a decrease of 70% in the standardized rate in each of these age groups for males, and a decrease of 77% before age 65 and 73% beyond that age for females. The proportion of total mortality represented by these diseases has thus fallen sharply, to less than a quarter of deaths in 2012 (24% for each of the sexes), versus around 40% in 1970 (38% for males, 42% for females) (Appendix Table A.14). However, cardiovascular diseases continue to be the leading cause of death at the most advanced ages, accounting for more than a third of all-cause mortality at age 85 and above (35% for males and 38% for females).
75Progress in combating cerebrovascular diseases has been particularly marked: the standardized mortality rate has fallen rapidly (Figure 24), by more than 82% since 1970 for both men and women. Deaths from ischaemic heart diseases have also decreased considerably, with a drop of 59% in the standardized rate for males and 67% for females over the same period. While the trend for cerebrovascular diseases has been relatively linear, the decline in ischaemic heart diseases has accelerated since 1980, with the pace of decrease nearly doubling for males and tripling for females between 1980-1990 and 2002-2012 (Appendix Table A.14). It is this very favourable trend in the main diseases affecting people of advanced age which explains the substantial progress in mortality after age 65 (Meslé, 2006).
Standardized mortality rates from cardiovascular diseases at all ages, by sex, 1970-2012
Standardized mortality rates from cardiovascular diseases at all ages, by sex, 1970-2012Note: Moving average of standardized rates over three calendar years.
Other causes of mortality
76“Other diseases” constituted the third-leading major cause of death in 2012, as was already the case in 1970 (Appendix Table A.14). For the most part, these are either diseases specific to childhood or diseases particularly affecting older adults. The causes of death in young children and adolescents (aged 0-14 years) are highly specific: congenital abnormalities and childhood diseases for the most part, but also, to a lesser extent, accidental deaths. All other diseases represent almost three quarters of the standardized rate for all causes before age 15 (Table 14). However, after the first year of life, mortality is very low, and is lowest around age 10: at ages 5-13, the risk of dying is less than 10 in 100,000. Among the oldest adults (85 years and above), other diseases represent more than 20% of the standardized rate for men, or roughly the same proportion as cancers, and 26% for women, making them the second-leading cause of death for women in this age range after cardiovascular diseases.
77Today, deaths from external causes are by far the leading cause of death in young people aged 15-34 (they are responsible for 68% of the standardized mortality rate from all causes among men and 44% among women). While road traffic accidents account for the most deaths at younger ages (at ages 15-24), suicide is the main killer at ages 25-34. In this age range, it is the leading cause of death for men and the second-leading cause for women after cancer.
78Finally, the standardized rate of death from respiratory diseases is still decreasing incrementally, although its contribution to the total number of deaths remains high as the population grows older (at 6-7% of the standardized rate for all ages, but more than 10% at age 85 and beyond).
79In conclusion, recent trends in cause-specific mortality suggest that life expectancies will continue to increase in the medium term, given the ongoing decreases in standardized mortality rates for the principal causes of death (rapid decreases in mortality from all major groups of cardiovascular diseases as well as from the principal cancers). The only exception is female lung cancer, whose evolution will determine the rate at which the sex difference in life expectancy decreases. The concentration of deaths at increasingly advanced ages may lead to greater volatility in life expectancy, however. The growing proportion of very old people with fragile health in the general population can be expected to intensify the fluctuations in general mortality associated with short-term epidemiological phenomena (such as the flu epidemic of 2015) or extreme weather (such as the 2003 heat wave).
80On 1 January 2016, France had 66.6 million inhabitants. As in the preceding years, the largest contributor to population growth was the surplus of births over deaths, despite a decrease in the birth rate and an increase in mortality. The rate of natural increase remained positive, but decreased significantly. The French population is ageing, and the proportion of persons under age 20 is now smaller than the population aged 60 or older.
81Nearly 200,000 individuals were granted residence permits in 2014. This is a slight increase, but remains low, at 0.3% of the population. Half of permits were issued to women; the majority of recipients were young adults, with students representing a quarter of all recipients.
82There were fewer births in 2015 and the total fertility rate decreased. This decrease is observed mainly among women aged below 35. The fertility of women aged 35 and above increased but more slowly than in the previous years.
83The number of induced abortions fell in 2014 and 2015. The characteristics of abortions are very similar for all abortion orders.
84The number of divorces continues to decrease, and the total divorce rate, which increased steadily until 2011, has been falling since 2012. Fewer divorces involve minor children.
85There were an estimated 600,000 deaths in the whole of France in 2015, including 587,000 in metropolitan France (representing a crude mortality rate of 9.1 per 1,000) – an increase of nearly 40,000 with respect to 2014. Life expectancy at birth in 2015 was 79 years for men and 85.1 years for women for the whole of France, a decrease of 0.3 years for men and 0.4 years for women with respect to 2014.
AcknowledgementsThe authors wish to thank Elodie Baril and Arnaud Bringé from the INED Statistical Methods department for their contributions to the preparation of the databases and initial analyses.
Number of first residence permits of at least one year granted to citizens of third countries (constant geographical area) by first year of validity
Number of first residence permits of at least one year granted to citizens of third countries (constant geographical area) by first year of validityNote: Member countries of the European Union on 30 June 2013, as well as nationals of Vatican City State, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, the principalities of Andorra and Monaco, the Republic of San Marino, and Switzerland are excluded.
Coverage: Permits granted in France and abroad to citizens of countries not listed in Footnote 5. Permits granted in the year n and registered in the database extraction performed in July of the year n+2, except for the year 2009, for which extraction was performed in July 2012.
Cohort fertility: cumulative fertility up to selected ages, estimated completed fertility (mean number of children per 100 women), and mean age at childbearing (in years and tenths of years)*
Cohort fertility: cumulative fertility up to selected ages, estimated completed fertility (mean number of children per 100 women), and mean age at childbearing (in years and tenths of years)** For the 1930-65 cohorts, observed completed fertility and mean age at childbearing; for later cohorts, unobserved rates are assumed equal to rates observed at the same age in 2015.
Coverage: Metropolitan France.
Number of induced abortions and annual indices since 1976*,(1),(2),(3),(4)* Provisional data.
na: Not available.
(1) Statistics from notifications including elective and therapeutic abortions.
(2) Administrative statistics based on recorded medical procedures. Data from 2010 includes data from the CNAM-TS and takes account of abortions covered by specific health insurance funds (MSA and RSI). Source: DREES and CNAM-TS from 2010.
(3) INED estimate (elective abortions). From 2002, the hospital statistics are considered exhaustive. Source: Rossier and Pirus (2007).
(4) Based on INED statistics up to 2001, and on hospital statistics from 2002.
Characteristics of nuptiality and divorce since 1985*,(1),(2),(3),(4)* Provisional data.
na: Not available.
(1) Ratio of number of first marriages to number of persons of same age, summed to age 49.
(2) Ratio of number of first marriages to (estimated) number of never-married persons at the same age, summed to age 49.
(3) Direct divorces and separations converted into divorces.
(4) For the years 2007-2013, data corrected by the Ministry of Justice in 2016.
Standardized death rates (per 100,000) by sex and groups of causes of death(1)(1) Standardized rate calculated from mortality rates by five-year age group (in completed years) and from standard European population (according to the structure proposed by the WHO).
Thanks to a new analysis of INSERM data, the age groups now have the same definition for all years. The contents of the cause-of-death groups are defined in Table A.15 (item numbers refer to ICD-9 for 1980 to 1999 and ICD-10 from 2000).
Coverage: Metropolitan France.
Cause-of-death categories and the corresponding codes in the International Classification of Diseases (ninth and tenth revisions)
French Institute for Demographic Studies (INED).
Correspondence: Magali Mazuy, Institut national d’études démographiques, 133 Boulevard Davout, 75980 Paris Cedex 20, email: email@example.com
Université de Strasbourg, Sage (UMR no. 7363).
Paris School of Economics, CNRS.
Appendix Tables A.1 to A.15 can be found at the end of the article. They are updated annually with available data. Their numbering does not always correspond to the order in which they are cited in the text.
Born abroad to non-French parents.
Namely, citizens of European Union member countries on 30 June 2013, and citizens of the Vatican City State, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, the principalities of Andorra and Monaco, the Republic of San Marina and Switzerland.
Due to change in coverage and methods of estimation, Appendix Table A.3 was completely revised in 2014.
Since Law no. 2002-304 of 4 March 2002, applicable to children born since 1 January 2005, parents have been able to choose the family name(s) they pass on to their children. Before the legalization of same-sex marriage, there were four possible configurations: the father’s name, the mother’s name, or both names (with that of the mother in either first or second position). This choice of name must be made, at the latest, when the child is registered (Article 311-21 inserted by Law no. 2002-304, modified by Law no. 2013-404 of 17 May 2013 - Art. 11).
Mean ages were calculated on the basis of mothers’ ages in civil records, and differ from mean age at childbearing, which is calculated on the basis of age-specific rates (number of women giving birth at each age as a proportion of the total number of women of that age).
Father’s age minus mother’s age.
From 2010, the data include the procedures covered by specific health insurance funds for the self-employed and farmers: the Régime social des indépendants (RSI) and the Mutuelle sociale agricole (MSA).
Failure to fill in or transmit these notifications may be due to a lack of time on the part of medical teams with heavy workloads; the teams may also view filling in this form as superfluous, particularly given that no other medical procedure is subject to a specific reporting requirement. In practice, the statistical notification is being progressively replaced by data from the PMSI medical statistics database (Rapport de la commission IVG 2016; Mazuy et al., 2014b).
Here we draw on the notifications for the year 2012, which we consider to be the most robust. As the notification was modified in 2011, with the introduction of additional variables, the data for 2011 on these variables are more prone to error. Data for years after 2012 are in preparation. In certain départements, the under-reporting and non-transmission of notifications increased in 2013 and 2014, as another source of data is progressively replacing the abortion notification form (Vilain, 2016; Mazuy et al., 2014b).
This result depends strongly on women’s age, with first abortions being most frequent at young ages. At a given age, first abortions are most frequent among women in a union.
This number includes two types of double counts. 1) couples who sign a PACS and then marry in the same calendar year; 2) marriages between couples who have been in a PACS for several years. This duplication is not visible in the marriage records. The 2011 family and housing survey (Enquête famille et logements) estimated that around 10% of persons who married in 2010 were previously in a PACS. It may be assumed that this proportion varied little between 2012 and 2013, and that these counts therefore overestimate by around 6% the number of couples officially registered for the first time.
In Mayotte in 2014, a total of 467 marriages were registered, including four same-sex marriages.
The number of PACS in 2010 was particularly large, possibly in anticipation of new tax rules in 2011 eliminating the tax advantage associated with a marriage or PACS in mid-year. The number of PACS fell in 2011, before recovering slowly in 2012 and 2013 (Mazuy et al., 2014a; Figure 6). It may be that couples whose main reason for entering a PACS had been tax-related later changed their mind.
The statistical analyses on marriages and PACS are based on data recorded in 2014. While INSEE has published provisional estimates of numbers of marriages, the final data for the year 2015 will only be available in the first quarter of 2017. Marriage records are less often communicated for statistical purposes than other types of vital records, notably by small municipalities. For this reason, annual surveys have been carried out in a sample of municipalities since 2001 in order to adjust marriage statistics. This vital operation delays their release.
These marriages do not include the transcriptions of marriage certificates from outside France, performed annually, whose number increased slightly between 2007 (47,869) and 2012 (51,000) (Source: AGDREF/data.gouv.fr).
Difference between the age of the older and younger spouse.