Survey: The French Want More Children

The latest survey by the National Union of Family Associations (“UNAF”) published on 14 January 2021, reports that the French want to have more children.

According to the report soon to be published by the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE), there have been 100,000 fewer births every year for the past ten years. Such a persistent decline in birth rates has not existed since 1945, and this has become an issue for the general balance of the French social security.

The survey shows that the French are yearning to have more children. “When 90% of people say they want, or would have wanted, at least one child, 83% at least 2 children, and 36% at least 3 children, public authorities and the general public should examine what can be done to help make these wishes come true.”

According to those surveyed: “On average, respondents want, or would have wanted, 2.39 children – meaning 0.58 more than the actual number of children they have had so far, and which is also 0.56 more than the current birth rate index reported by INSEE.” In 2019, the average birth index was only 1.87.

Families are facing material and financial problems which keep them from having more children, such as having access to decent, long-term housing and finding stable employment with work schedules which facilitate the balance between work and home life. Parents are increasingly penalized by significant budget cuts in government subsidies and a growing portion of the family budget goes towards housing.

The UNAF regularly investigates this issue, to draw attention to the government’s policy for families and to call for improvements.

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