France’s fertility rate has risen to the highest level in 30 years, with women having an average of two children each, official data showed on Tuesday.
In a demographic survey, the national statistics office, the INSEE, said the rate rose to 2.0 children per woman last year from 1.9 in 2005. The average age of mothers in France continued to rise, reaching 29.8 years, from 29.7 the previous year.
“The number of women between 20 and 40, who account for 95 percent of births, continues to decrease, but women are having more children than before,” INSEE said.
Higher fertility rates were among new demographic assumptions which prompted the French Treasury in November to revise estimates for long-term potential growth in France to 2.1 percent for 2008-2015, 1.8 percent for 2015-2030 and 1.9 percent for 2030-2050.
France and Ireland had the highest fertility rates in the European Union in 2005, both at about 1.9 children per woman, well ahead of Germany, Italy and Spain at the lower end of the table with 1.3 children per woman.
The 2006 demographic study showed Germany had the largest population in Europe with 82.4 million. France, including its overseas territories, was second with 63.4 million and Britain, with 60.4 million, was third.