Demographics of France
According to the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies, the current population of France is above 65 million, and is increasing at a rate of 300,000 people per year. The French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies, called the Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques (INSEE) in French, is responsible for performing the census in France and is the French branch of the European Statistical System. The demographics of France show that more than 95% of the French population lives in metropolitan areas.
The past details of the demographics of France prove that the population had experienced very slow growth in the first half of the twentieth century while other nations surrounding France, including Germany, were having very high population growth. To worsen this situation, the population decreased considerably during the two consecutive world wars, as there were large scale casualties caused due to heavy bombing in French territories.
There was a time when France had the highest population in Europe, mainly the period around the seventeenth century. However, the situation after the two wars was exactly the opposite, and many neighboring countries had estimated it would worsen in coming years. As a result of the government policies, the French population experienced a strong boom in the years following the Second World War. In recent years, France has surpassed even Germany, which has got zero population growth.
The other important part of the demographics of France is that nearly 10% of the total French population”which amounts to roughly six million people”are foreigners who migrated to France in the last few decades of the twentieth century. The majority of these immigrants are from different parts of Europe, along with significant numbers from Africa. The immigrant population as per the demographics of France are from countries that include but are not limited to: Cambodia, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam.
According to the demographics of France, around 60% of France’s population practices Roman Catholicism as their religion. This figure is decreasing day by day, mainly because many Catholics have started becoming non-religious. The other faith that has a major following in France is the Islamic religion. More than 10% of the French population follows some form of Islamic faith. The Protestant population is reduced to one million people in recent years, according to the demographics of France.
Ethnic groups in France
According to the constitution of France, all citizens are equal and it is prohibited to have any surveys based on the ethnicity or religion of the people. The French administration does not discriminate based on ethnicity, but they do recognize the social and traditional activities of different ethnic groups in France.
Some enthusiasts have declared that the main ethnic groups in France are the Celtic, Latin and Frankish peoples, but others have observed that there are more ethnic groups that include but are not limited to: Americans, Africans, Asians, Armenians, Basques, Bretons, Persians, Flemish and Sephardis.
The region where modern France is located was originally part of a bigger state which was called Gaul. In this region, the first inhabitants were the Celtic people, who date back at least two thousand years. This is the reason why the French language consists of vocabulary which was developed based on the Celtic language. The Celtic people were responsible for setting up the city of Paris. The Romans often called these Celtic people Gauls because they were the concentrated over the entire Gaulic region. These Gauls had complete control over this region for several years until it was captured by the Romans in the year 122 B.C.
Even today, many French people consider Celts as their ancestors, but due to lack of an official survey, it is difficult to get an exact percentage of this Celtic ethnic group in France.
Latin ethnic group
Romans settled in France just after the fall of the Celtic reign in Gaul. The Latin Kings ruled the region of today’s France for around 500 years. They had a strong influence on the language and the culture of France in those days. This is the reason why we find several Latin language features in French language. These features are mainly from the Vulgar Latin form of Latin language than the Classical type. The Roman rulers of Gaul were eventually defeated, but by the time that happened, they had already left their mark, and many of their descendants can be found in present day France.
The Armenians, as compared to the other ethnic groups, have settled in France during the1800s. Some state that there are nearly half a million Armenians in France. This population is concentrated mostly in Lyon, Marseille, Paris and Valence regions of France. The majority of Armenians are Christian by religion.