On the basis of the census of February 1975, the population of France was 52,655,802 residents, With an increase of 5.5% compared to the census of 1968 (49,768,825 residents). The demographic recovery, which began in the years following the Second World War, has continued to this day: the birth rate remains, on average, between 15 and 16%, that of mortality at 11%. In the period 1963-74 the overall annual increase was almost 0.9%. One million French also contributed to the increase in population, following the political changes that took place in the former French colonial dependencies (particularly from Algeria). At the same time, the influx of foreign populations rose again: the total of non-French residents in France, which was 1,815,700 in 1962, rose to 4,196. 134 in 1976 (about a quarter of the latter are Italians). This is due to the demand for industrial labor.
According to TRACKAAH.COM, the current distribution of the population (96 residents Per km 2) is the result on the one hand of a different demographic behavior among the various regions, on the other hand of the degrees of development of industrialization and urbanization. Thus we find the highest densities in the North (310-430 residents per km 2), in the middle Rhone valley around Lyons (440), in the Marseille area (320), in Alsace (180), all areas more dynamics for industrial and commercial organization. But we also have other areas, such as the Pyrenees, Auvergne, Limousin and the Dordogne, where the low density (30-50 residents per km 2) is the result of unfavorable environmental conditions as well as of structures in stagnation from a socio-economic point of view. The region of Paris has a separate place, where there are average densities of over 800 residents. per km 2, the highest in France. In reality, it is an area organized according to the capital, which plays a sovereign role within the country and which alone gathers 9.9 million residents, that is about one fifth of the entire French population. The other large concentrations of population were formed in the Northern region (3.9 million residents), in the Lyon, Saint-Etienne and Grenoble regions (4.8 million), in the industrial region of Lorraine (2, 4 million), in Alsace (1.5), in the urban and industrial region of Marseille (1.6), in the estuaries of the Seine, Loire and Gironde (urban and industrial region of Bordeaux), each with over one million of the people living there; in total almost 27 million residents, that is more than 50% of the French population. In the period 1962-75, only 12 departments saw their population decline. Over the last fifteen years, the urban organization has still developed according to spontaneous, unplanned movements, thus determining the high imbalances of the Parisian metropolis, which has been the destination of much of the internal mobility of the population and of the one that has come away. from the countryside (where less than 15 million people live today). The Paris area today gathers the most varied economic and financial activities; forms a city-region that planning programs try to make more open and polycentric, with the formation of secondary centers in its grandiose banlieue, or by contrasting the capital with a series of development poles in the various regions – the so-called “metropolis of equilibrium” – which must tend to organize politics according to territorial plans.
The demographic events of the last fifteen years still place France among the relatively sparsely populated countries in the context of the states of Western Europe. It is also the least urbanized country, as the rural population still represents 30% of the total, and as it has only one agglomeration – Paris – which exceeds one million residents.