Birth rate on the rise in 2021: why is it likely to fall in 2023?

In 2021, 742,100 babies were born in France, 0.9% more than the previous year. A very marked rebound in births from March and April and which shows that the French have regained hope after the various confinements. A hope that did not last long...

  Birth rate on the rise in 2021: why is it likely to fall in 2023?

Hope is reborn among the French. Or at least, the French very quickly regained their morale when they came out of confinement, and the desire to plan for the long term. The proof: 742,100 babies were born in France in 2021, or 0.9% more than in 2020, according to a focus de l'Insee published on September 29. ' This increase ends the six years of decline in the number of births observed between 2015 and 2020 ', specifies the institute. The year 2021 had however started with a very marked decline in births until mid-February, which corresponds to children conceived during the first confinement , in the spring of 2020. But this phenomenon was not observed after the second confinement which took place in November 2020. Anyway, the end of the various confinements was accompanied by an acceleration of the conceptions. After six years of decline, the number of births indeed rebounded in March and April 2021, and from August 2021 where, until the end of the year, the number of births was each month 'very higher ' to that of the same months of the year 2020. The age of the mothers also weighed in the balance and it was the oldest who were the most inclined to want to become mothers. ' The youngest women had fewer children during the confinements, without catching up with these declines in the following months. For 30-somethings, and even more so for 40-somethings, the strong rebounds coming out of confinement more than offset the declines observed in certain months “, explains INSEE.

Nevertheless, this desire to pamper has fizzled since the beginning of the year 2022. The war in Ukraine, which resulted in energy crises and inflation, immediately destroyed the prospects for maternity . A tense and worrying geopolitical and economic context, on which impressive climatic upheavals have been grafted this year . Result: French women no longer want to have children, or postpone their desire for motherhood until more lenient times. The rising birth rate risks a severe relapse if women of childbearing age believe that the world is too uncertain to take responsibility for a child on the one hand, and to offer it the best prospects on the other. of future.

What is the fertility rate?

To calculate the fertility rate, INSEE takes into account a given age or an age bracket in order to define the number of children per woman during the year. This figure is then related to the average population of the year of women of the same age. In 2020, the total fertility rate stands at 1.84 children per woman. The ICF oscillated around 2 children per woman between the years 2006 and 2014. Finally, France remains in 2020 the most fertile country in the European Union.

Women have children later

The average age of childbearing continues to increase over the years: ' it reached 30.8 in 2020, 30.7 in 2019, compared to 29.3 twenty years earlier 'says INSEE. Moreover, if the most fertile women are aged 25 to 24, the fertility rate under 30 been declining since the 2000s and this decline has been accelerating since 2015, the report notes. Thus, 100 women aged 25 to 29 gave birth to 13 children in 1999, then 12.3 children in 2014 and they have only 10.6 in 2020. Among women aged 30 to 34, has 13.1 children per 100 women in 2014 and 12.5 children in 2020.

Life expectancy in 2021

According to the 2021 INSEE report, life expectancy at birth is 85.2 years in 2021 for women and 79.3 years for men. 'Women gain 0.3 years of life expectancy compared to 2020 and men 0.2 years. Due to the sharp decline in 2020 (−0.5 years for women, −0.6 years for men), life expectancy does not, however, return to its level before the pandemic (85.6 years for women in 2019 and 79.7 years for men)' , specifies the INSEE.