Downward trend for French birth rate

The French are having fewer babies

The number of babies born in France continues to fall, with 9,500 fewer births last year compared to 2012.

THE BIRTH rate continues to fall in France shows a new survey by national statistics body Insee.

Last year 811 510 babies were born, which is 9,500 fewer than the previous year.

Of those babies, 781 621 were born in the mainland and 29 889 in the overseas territories.

The new statistics confirm a downward trend for the French birth rate, though the number of births is still higher than the most recent low-point of 741 000 in 1994.

In 2013, 57% of babies in France were born to unmarried mothers. The number of children born to unmarried parents has been rising steeply since the 1970s.

Women are also continuing to have babies later in France. The average age of women giving birth in 2013 was 30.3 and two-thirds of those were aged 25 to 35, while 22% were older than 35. The number of women giving birth at 40 or older continues to rise.

The trend for multiple births also continues to rise. In 2013, 13,898 (1.7%) of births were multiple of which 97.7% were twins.

According to the statistics the older the mother the more likely she is to give birth to more than one child.

In the last ten years the likelihood of a woman aged over 45 giving birth to more than one child has increased from 2.8% to 5.7% in 2013, a rise that Insee suggests is driven by the use of IVF for older women, which often result in multiple births.

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