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I'm adding this link provided by brunoken, French government eyes 'le baby boom'

FERTILITY RATE
In Europe 2.1 children per woman is considered to be the population replacement level. These are national averages
Ireland: 1.99
France: 1.90
Norway: 1.81
Sweden 1.75
UK: 1.74
Netherlands: 1.73
Germany: 1.37
Italy: 1.33
Spain: 1.32
Greece: 1.29
Source: Eurostat - 2004 figures

At-a-glance: National policies

With all this, it is maybe not surprising that France is managing to buck the trend of European depopulation. With a fertility rate of 1.916, it is second only to Ireland in the birth stakes and, unlike many countries, its population is growing strongly.

According to recent government figures, France's population should reach 75 million (from 62 million today) by the middle of the century, in the process overtaking Germany - whose numbers the UN says will fall from 82 million to 70.8 million in 2050......
What is particularly gratifying to French planners is that the bulk of the current population increase - put at 0.68% a year - is caused by home-grown births and only a quarter to immigration.

This is an important piece of information, because countries such as Japan and Germany will have the additional problem of declining populations, and in Japan's case complicated with low immigration rates (I believe).  I don't think this changes the need for policy adjustments, as presumably these are the replacement and immigration numbers that are used in the models--note "presuming", we should check that.
by wchurchill on Thu Apr 27th, 2006 at 01:59:19 PM EST
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