While the debate around pension reform is in full swing, INSEE published its demographic report for 2022 on Tuesday, January 17. Last year broke certain records in demographic terms. These data could weigh in the standoff that is the imminent adoption of the pension reform, as reported by our colleagues from Figaro. 723,000. This is the number of babies born in France during the year 2022. It is also a historically low level in terms of births: 2022 therefore wins the prize for the year with the lowest number of births in France since 1946.

This represents a decrease of 2.6% compared to 2021, or 19,000 fewer babies. However, the year 2021 had marked a reversal of the downward trend that had been continuing for 6 years. It would seem that this was actually just a catch-up movement following the spring 2020 lockdown… Another factor contributing to this drop to some extent: the drop in the total fertility rate. In 2021, it stood at 1.84 children per woman, compared to 1.80 today.

To make matters worse, the death rate is also much higher than some experts predicted. Indeed, the year 2022 has almost 5000 more deaths than 2021! The most striking comparison remains that made with pre-Covid, i.e. 2019: there is a total of 54,000 more deaths in France today. The explanations are multiple, but the Omicron variant, the aging of the baby-boom generation, the late flu epidemic or the successive heat waves of this summer have all had their part to play.

As far as life expectancy is concerned, it has still not returned to its pre-Covid level. The aging of the population, a phenomenon observed in all the countries of the European Union, continues its momentum: it is increasing. As of January 1, 2023, 21.3% of the French population is aged 65 or over. Among these downward trending dynamics as a whole, some departments are exceptions to the rule!

Find below the ranking of the 20 departments in which the number of births increased the most in 2022.