France remains European champion of births

France is the European country with the highest fertility, reveals INSEE on Wednesday. Three figures illustrate this demographic vitality.

This is the French exception. Women have more children in France than in the rest of Europe, reports Insee, Wednesday, November 4, in the 2015 edition of its “social portrait of France”. While in most European countries fertility fell after the economic crisis that began in 2008, in France it has remained stable and high. In its study, INSEE explains that unemployment can negatively influence the fertility rate of a country. But for the effect to be noticeable, there must be a sharp deterioration in the labor market, like in Greece, Spain and Portugal. Francetv info illustrates this French vitality with the help of three graphics.

French women have two children on average

Since 2006, fertility has been stable in France. And a French woman has on average two children. The economic crisis has not played a role in this trend. This is not the case with our European neighbors. Hardest hit, Mediterranean countries have seen their fertility rates drop. In 2010, a Greek woman had an average of 1.51 children. This rate reached 1.29 children per woman in 2013. In Ireland, another country hit by economic difficulties, the fertility rate fell, leaving France to the top of the birth podium.

They have their first baby at 28

If the average age of a mother when she gives birth to her first baby is between 28.1 and 30.4 years, INSEE stresses that it is in France that the average age remains the lowest. A French woman has her first child on average at 28.1 years old. In all the countries studied by the statistical institute, the trend is on the rise. This is particularly the case in the countries of southern Europe. There, the departure of the family home for young adults often coincides with a marriage. However, with the economic crisis, they are extending the time spent with their parents and delaying the plan to form a couple, and therefore to have children.

In France, more than one in two children are born out of wedlock

France stands out again. In 2013, 56% of births took place outside marriage. INSEE notes that in France as in northern Europe, types of union alternative to marriage, such as PACS, are very widespread. In southern Europe, on the other hand, births outside of marriage are rare. In Spain, Greece or Italy, the image of the family is still inseparable from marriage, as geographer Thomas Pfirsch explains in a study published in 2011. “En France or England, it is the birth of the child which truly constitutes a family couple in the eyes of society and the law; in southern Europe, this social and legal recognition is still linked to marriage ”, specifies this specialist.