The French government is preparing its latest census of the population. Census takers will be visiting us sometime between tomorrow and February 15. For us, it will be interesting to see what kinds of questions they ask.
The funny thing is that just as the census-taking is about to begin, the government organization responsible for it announced yesterday that the French population is now 63.8 million, or 64.5 million counting the residents of overseas départements —Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Caribbean, for example — and territories — French Polynesia, etc.
The census organization, INSEE — L'Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques, which is part of the Ministry of the Economy — says 816,500 babies were born last year in France, and 526,500 people died. Immigration totaled 70,000.
In terms of population, at nearly 64M inhabitants France is the second-largest country in the European Union, after Germany (82M) and just ahead of the United Kingdom (61M). The French birth rate is the highest in Europe. Nonetheless, France is aging, with people over 65 accounting for 16.3% of the total population.
A male child born in 2007 has a life expectancy of 77.5 years, and a female child 84.4. Life expectancy for those born in 2007 is three months higher than for those born in 2006. People under 20 make up 24.9% of the population, a slight decrease from 2006.
Now what I wonder is why, if they know all this already, they are now going to do a census. Seems like a classic case of putting the cart before the horse.