French presidential candidates are making the topic of birthrates a campaign issue for next year’s election after a report revealed 2020 had one of the lowest numbers of births in decades.
The statistics, released by the INSEE in January, show that France saw just 740,000 births in 2020, one of the lowest recorded since the end of the Second World War. The figures translate to a fertility rate which has fallen to 1.84 children per woman.
Christian Jacob, president of the centre-right Republicans, blamed the steady decline in births on former President François Hollande and current President Emmanuel Macron. He stated that the low birthrate was costing France money due to the link between economic growth and population, Franceinfo reports.
Two parties within President Macron’s coalition, the centrist Democratic Movement (MoDem) and the centre-right Agir, say they are working on proposals to reverse the trend of declining birthrates ahead of the 2022 election.
France Sees Third Straight Year of Birthrate Decline https://t.co/gDoHByWqJi
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 18, 2018
Both parties say they want to see President Macron embrace a new pro-family policy. One MoDem official compared the Wuhan coronavirus to the Second World War, questioning whether there could be a “baby boom” after the pandemic as there was after 1945.
While France does have one of the highest birthrates in the European Union on average, it has seen a similar decline year after year as many other EU member states.
Despite the decline, many EU members still experience population growth but this is due largely to mass migration. In Belgium, a report revealed that 90 per cent of the country’s population growth in 2019 was driven by immigration.
In France, the birthrate also varies between native French and those from migrant backgrounds, with data from an Institut National d’Études Démographiques (INED/Institute for Demographic Studies) study showing the native birthrate at 1.8 births per woman and the migrant birthrate at 2.6 births per woman.
Exclusive: Families More Important Than Economic Growth, Says Hungarian Govt on Launch of New Pro-Child Policy https://t.co/egVAKF9EEh
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 7, 2019
In 2017, migrant mothers made up 12 per cent of the French population but represented around 18.8 per cent of all the births that year.
Hungary, which boasts some of the most comprehensive pro-family policies in Europe, has been one of the few countries to see a rise in birthrates in the last several years.
Last week, Hungarian Family Minister Katalin Novak revealed that from 2010 to 2020, the fertility rate in Hungary increased by 24 per cent, the highest in the European Union.