French Health System Overview
Health System Rankings
Health System Outcomes
Health System Coverage
Costs for Consumers
Health System Expenditures
French COVID-19 Policy
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Health System Physical Resources and Utilization
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Population, Mid-Year 2019: 65,130,000
Population Density (Population Per Square Kilometer), Mid-Year 2019: 119
Projected Population Mid-Year 2030: 66,696,000
Percentage of Population Under Age 25 Years, Mid-Year 2019: 29%
Percentage of Population 65 Years Or Over, Mid-Year 2019: 20%
Source: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2019). World Population Prospects 2019: Data Booklet (ST/ESA/SER.A/424).
Annual Population Growth Rate 2000-2020: 0.5%
Projected Annual Population Growth Rate 2020-2030: 0.2%
Proportion of Urban Population, 2020: 81%
Annual Growth Rate of Urban Population 2000-2020: 0.8%
Projected Annual Growth Rate of Urban Population 2020-2030: 0.5%
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.
“On 1 January 2013, the French population totalled 63.7 million inhabitants in metropolitan France and 2.1 million inhabitants in the five overseas departments (INSEE, 2013a). It is the second most populous country in the EU after Germany. Table 1.1 shows the most recent demographic indicators.
“Metropolitan France covers an area of about 552 000 km2, and with an average population density of 119/km2 it ranks 12th in the EU. However, average density conceals considerable variations; half of the population lives in just over 10% of this territory, while large areas remain sparsely populated. By 2012, 86% of the population lived in urban areas, with the greatest growth in outer suburbs and rural areas surrounding towns, rather than in the city centres. Nonetheless, the population of rural areas has grown 1.5 times faster than urban areas over the past ten years (Brutel & Levy, 2012).
“Historically, French immigration policy has been characterized by a tradition of welcome, assimilation and integration of foreigners. However, recent laws have imposed stricter conditions for family reunification and asylum. In 2008, an estimated 5.3 million immigrants (born in a foreign country) resided in France, representing 8.3% of the population (INSEE, 2012b). Individuals born in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia accounted for 30% of France’s immigrant population.
“France is ethnically heterogeneous, counting more than a hundred different ethnic groups within its territory. The government does not gather data on ethnicity, although ad hoc surveys may be used to estimate the level of discrimination in access to schools, housing or the labour market. A 2008 survey found that approximately 15% of the French population (10 million) had an origin other than French (INED, 2010).”
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.
“Smoking rates among adults have declined over the past two decades to 25 % in 2018, down from 30 % in 2000. However, they remain higher than in most EU countries (Figure 6). Similarly, smoking rates among teenagers (15- and 16-year-olds) have come down slightly but remain higher than in most EU countries. This indicates that further progress is possible in tobacco control policies (see Section 5.1).
“While alcohol consumption decreased between 2000 and 2012, it has stabilised since 2013 and is still almost 20 % higher than the EU average. The proportion of 15- and 16-year-olds who report binge drinking1 is lower than in most EU countries: it came down from over 40 % in 2007 to about 30 % in 2015.2
“Some 14 % (over 80,000) of all deaths can be attributed to tobacco smoking alone (including direct and second-hand smoking) in 2017. Dietary risks (including low fruit and vegetable intake, and high sugar and salt consumption) are estimated to account for about 13 % of all deaths in France, which is much lower than in the EU as a whole (18 %) but still amounts to 75,000 deaths. About 7 % (40,000) of all deaths can be attributed to alcohol consumption, while about 2 % (13,000) of all deaths are related to low physical activity.”
Source: OECD/European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies (2019), France: Country Health Profile 2019, State of Health in the EU, OECD Publishing, Paris/European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, Brussels.
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Page last updated Jan. 25, 2023 by Doug McVay, Editor.