French Health System Overview
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Life Expectancy at Birth (2019) : 82.5
Maternal Mortality Ratio (per 100,000 live births) (2017): 8
Neonatal Mortality Rate (per 1,000 live births) (2020): 3
Probability of Dying from any of Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, Diabetes, Chronic Respiratory Diseases Between Age 30 and Exact Age 70 (%) (2019): 10.6%
Source: World health statistics 2022: monitoring health for the SDGs, sustainable development
goals. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2022. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
Neonatal Mortality Rate (Deaths Per 1,000 Live Births) (2019): 3
Infant Mortality Rate (Deaths Per 1,000 Live Births) (2019): 4
Under-5 Mortality Rate (Deaths Per 1,000 Live Births) (2019): 4
Note: “Under-5 mortality rate – Probability of dying between birth and exactly 5 years of age, expressed per 1,000 live births.
“Infant mortality rate – Probability of dying between birth and exactly 1 year of age, expressed per 1,000 live births.
“Neonatal mortality rate – Probability of dying during the first 28 days of life, expressed per 1,000 live births.”
Source: United Nations Children’s Fund, The State of the World’s Children 2021: On My Mind – Promoting, protecting and caring for children’s mental health, UNICEF, New York, October 2021.
Maternal Deaths Per 100,000 Live Births, 2020: 8
Source: Trends in maternal mortality 2000 to 2020: estimates by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank Group and UNDESA/Population Division. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2023. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
“In 2020, life expectancy at birth in France stood at 82.3 years, almost two years higher than across the EU (Figure 1). It temporarily fell by eight months in 2020 because of deaths due to COVID-19 – the biggest reduction since 1945.
“Even before the pandemic, gains in life expectancy in France, as in many other western European countries, had slowed considerably between 2010 and 2019. While the causes for this are not fully understood, it was partly related to an increase in mortality rates from influenza, pneumonia and other respiratory diseases among older people.”
Source: OECD/European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies (2021), France: Country Health Profile 2021, State of Health in the EU, OECD Publishing, Paris/European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, Brussels.
“Major improvements in morbidity linked to cardiovascular diseases have been seen in recent years (see Table 1.5). Nonetheless, the growing incidence of diabetes remains a major concern.
“Several risk factors contribute to the burden of noncommunicable diseases in France. The number of adults who are overweight or obese has grown significantly since the 1990s. A 2009 survey found that 13.9% of men and 15.1% of women were obese (DREES, 2011a). Excessive alcohol consumption underlies a large share of morbidity, including cancers, chronic liver disease, psychiatric problems and consequences from accidents. However, alcohol and tobacco consumption per inhabitant has decreased since 2000, the latter due in part to the emergence of electronic cigarettes. Nonetheless, France still has one of the highest alcohol consumption rates in the EU.
“Infectious diseases are responsible for a large share of morbidity. While most often banal, especially in children, infectious diseases pose greater risks for those already in fragile health, including the elderly and those with chronic illnesses. Public health surveillance is concerned not only with the level of vaccination coverage but also monitors four infectious diseases: legionellosis, tuberculosis, AIDS and sexually transmitted infections. The growth in antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria is also a major public health concern.”
Source: Chevreul K, Berg Brigham K, Durand-Zaleski I, Hernández-Quevedo C. France: Health system review. Health Systems in Transition, 2015; 17(3): 1–218.
Health Systems Facts is a project of the Real Reporting Foundation. We provide reliable statistics and other data from authoritative sources regarding health systems in the US and sixteen other nations.
Page last updated March 2, 2023 by Doug McVay, Editor.