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the birth rate started to rise again in February after the fall in January

INSEE measures the number of births in France each month to try to determine the effect of the health crisis on the birth rate. The end of confinement has, it seems, re-motivated parenting projects.
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With 1,860 births on average every day in February, France recorded a slight upturn in the birth rate after the vertiginous and unprecedented drop in January. However, the trend remains downward compared to February 2020 (- 5%).

The age pyramid partly explains the phenomenon. In fact, the number of women aged 20 to 40 – and therefore of childbearing age – is decreasing. But the health crisis and the confinement have also weighed on the morale of the couples.

At the end of the first confinement, there was undoubtedly a period of thinning, more hope of an exit from the health crisis and therefore visibly a resumption of parenthood projects “, remarks Sylvie Le Minez, head of demographic and social studies at INSEE.

However, it is difficult to know whether the slight recovery observed in February will continue over the long term, warns Sylvie Le Minez. We must not lose sight of the fact that the end of 2020 is darker with a second wave of deaths and a second confinement which can have repercussions on births later in the year.”

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With an average of 1.84 children per woman, France remains at the top of the most fertile countries in the European Union while experiencing a constant decline for six years. In 2020, 735,000 children were born, a number that has never been lower since the end of World War II.

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