Les naissances sont retardées mais la fécondité est stable
The number of births in France has been roughly constant since 1976, the year of stabilization at the end of the baby boom. After declining in the early 1990s, it has been increasing since 1995 despite the fall in the number of people of an age to be parents : the first baby boomers now approaching retirement age will have had an average of 2.1 children per woman, but will be replaced by smaller cohorts after 1973 due to the delayed age at childbearing. This delay accounts for the total period fertility rate being stable since 1976 at a lower level, of around 1.8 children per woman; a model in which the fertility of women who are already mothers varies with the age of the last child, and not with the age of the mother, produces an estimate of over 2.0 children per woman, close to the completed cohort fertility. The latter will decline slightly for the post 1956 birth cohorts, and is projected to stabilize at around 2.0 children per woman for the 1970 cohort, due to a slight increase in women who will remain childless. Notwithstanding this increase in childlessness, the distribution of women by number of children has been remarkably stable for twenty-five years : family sizes are very homogeneous since nearly two in five women have exactly two children.
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