The French statistics agency has published the number of births for 2022, a number which is reportedly the lowest since the creation of the statistics agency in 1946.
The French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) has reported that in 2022 a total of 723,000 babies were born in the country, the lowest overall number reported since 1946 and the continuation of a rapid decline in births that began in 2010.
Since 2010, the overall number of births has fallen by more than 100,000, but the cause of the decline is not entirely clear, according to Sylvie Le Minez, head of the demographic and social studies unit at INSEE, the newspaper Le Parisien reports.
Didier Breton, professor of demography at the University of Strasbourg and associate researcher at INED (National Institute for Demographic Studies) noted that while France still enjoys the highest fertility rate in the European Union, other countries, such as Romania, are vying for the top spot.
“In the fall, mainly in September and October, we fell to particularly low levels. One wonders if this was not linked to the economic crisis, to inflation which has been high,” Breton said.
“Covid was followed by an economic crisis marked by high inflation, and a political crisis related to the war in Ukraine, but also a climate crisis. In summary, since 2020, crises have followed one another, which is not conducive to the decision to have a child,” he added.