##French Facts and Figures 2016

French Food Friday is giving way to French Fact and Figures Friday this week. We’ve been so busy sawing and lugging overhanging branches this week, taking advantage of the frozen lakes, that I’ve been too tired to do my homework on an item of food. I’ve been more concerned with eating - it’s been hungry work!

On 17th January INSEE, the Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques (National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies) published its facts and figures for 2016. frenchstuff

As at 31 December 2016 the population of France stood at 66.991 million. This total was 265,000 greater than at 1 January 2016, a growth of 0.4%, which is the smallest growth rate for forty years. For the second year in a row the number of births has dropped, this time down 14,000 on 2015. The fertility rate for women is now 1.93 babies, a drop from 1.96 in 2015.

Fewer people died during 2016 than in the previous year, which had been quite an exceptionally popular year to die in. However, the decrease was only 1%, which isn’t massive, but that’s because the baby-boom generation is starting to get to the age of popping off, so there are a lot of old folk around. In fact, 29.2% of the population is aged 65+.

Talking of which, life expectancy for a baby born in 2016 is now 85.4 years for the female sex and 79.3 for the boys. This has increased from last year.

In 2016, 470,000 people got married in, obviously, half that number of marriages: a total of 228,000 heterosexual unions and 7,000 same-sex marriages. Marriages outnumber PACS civil partnerships by 46,000.

So there we are – a quick summary of today’s population in France.