THE population of France has broken the symbolic 65million barrier, according to figures from national statistics office INSEE.
Figures published yesterday reveal the population was 65,241,241 on January 1, 2012 - an increase of 300,000 on the previous year. It confirms France as the second most populous country in Europe, still well behind Germany (80.3million) but slightly ahead of the UK (63.5million).
France experienced a 0.5% increase in population in a year, above the European average growth of 0.3%, INSEE said.
Not surprisingly, the Ile-de-France is the most populated region, with 11.9 million inhabitants, ahead of the Rhône-Alpes (6.3million) and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (4.9million).
The least populated metropolitan areas are Corsica (316,257 inhabitants) and Limousin (738,633 inhabitants). Approximately 1.87 million French residents live overseas, representing 2.86% of the total population.
The population increase is spread around the country. INSEE said that 80% of departments have seen the number of inhabitants rise over the past five years.
Regionally, the populations of Burgundy and Limousin have fallen slightly, while Aquitaine and Languedoc-Roussillon have seen the biggest increases in residents.
The 60million population figure was broken in 1999.