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France:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

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Overview France

Contents

France:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

France:Historical Development

France:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

France:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

France:Political and Economic Situation

France:Organisation and Governance

France:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

France:Lifelong Learning Strategy

France:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

France:Organisation of Private Education

France:National Qualifications Framework

France:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

France:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

France:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

France:Funding in Education

France:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

France:Higher Education Funding

France:Adult Education and Training Funding

France:Early Childhood Education and Care

France:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

France:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

France:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

France:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

France:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

France:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

France:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

France:Primary Education

France:Organisation of Primary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

France:Assessment in Primary Education

France:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

France:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

France:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

France:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

France:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

France:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

France:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

France:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

France:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

France:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

France:Higher Education

France:Types of Higher Education Institutions

France:First Cycle Programmes

France:Bachelor

France:Short-Cycle Higher Education

France:Second Cycle Programmes

France:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

France:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

France:Adult Education and Training

France:Distribution of Responsibilities

France:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

France:Main Providers

France:Main Types of Provision

France:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

France:Teachers and Education Staff

France:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

France:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

France:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

France:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Management and Other Education Staff

France:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

France:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

France:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

France:Management Staff for Higher Education

France:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

France:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Quality Assurance

France:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

France:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

France:Educational Support and Guidance

France:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

France:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

France:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

France:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

France:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

France:Mobility and Internationalisation

France:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Mobility in Higher Education

France:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

France:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

France:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

France:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

France:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

France:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

France:National Reforms in School Education

France:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

France:National Reforms in Higher Education

France:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

France:European Perspective

France:Legislation

France:Glossary

Population and Demographic Situation

[Data cited in this paragraph have been collected and elaborated by the Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques (INSEE)].

Total surface area: 670,922 Km² (Metropolitan France: 547,030 Km²; overseas départements 123,892 Km²).

Total population: estimated at 66 million in 2014 (Metropolitan France: 63.9 million; overseas départements: 1.9 million). These figures take into account the definitive results of the census fixing the legal population on 1st January 2006. The population increase is caused more by excess births over deaths than the migratory balance.

The total fertility rate is one of the highest in Europe, with Ireland: 1.98 children per woman (provisional figures for 2013). The average age at labour is up and reached 30, 1 in 2013.

                                       

Year
Population as of 1st January (thousands)
Live births (thousands)
Deaths (thousands)
Natural balance(with regard to the previous year)
Estimated migration balance
2000
60 508 775.8
547.3
+ 228.5 +63
2005
62 731 806 
8 538.1
+ 268.7 + 92
2010
 64 648 (p) 828.0 (p)
545.0 (p)
+ 283.0 (p)
2013
65 542 (p)
 810
 572
+ 238
 + 40(p)

(p) Results as of the end of 2013. INSEE, 2014.


average age/year
under 20
20 to 59 ans
60 and over Of whom 75 and over
2000
25.8 53.8
20.4 7.1
2005
25.2 54.2
20.6 7.9
2011
24.6 52.3
23.1 8.9
2013 (p)
24.6
52.2
24.2
9.1

(p) Results as of the end of 2013. INSEE, 2014.

                               
The Unemployment rate (by the definition of the BIT) in the second trimester of 2014 in Metropolitan France was 9.7% with 2.8 millions of unemployed people (INSEE, 2014).

For the back-to-school period 2012-2013, the school and higher education population (Metropolitan France and Overseas Départements, public + private) amounted to 15 .2 millions pupils, students and apprentices broken down as follows (in thousands). This population has increased of 50.000 units since the previous year (results, RERS 2014):


Pre-primary education
2 580,9
Primary education
4 132.6
Lower Secondary education (with Segpa)
3 332
Upper secondary education 2 109.7
Apprentices 432.4
Higher education 2429.9

 

Langages

The official language is French, including in schools. However, eleven regional languages (Breton, Catalan, Corsican, Basque, the regional languages of Alsace, Creole, Gallo, Occitan-langue d'Oc, Tahitian, Melanesian languages and regional languages of the Moselle regions) are sometimes used in certain parts of France. Considered as part of national culture and heritage, they are specifically taught as options in pre-primary school through to higher education in the relevant regions. This was established in the law of 11 January 1951 (the provisions of which were adopted in articles L 121-1, L 311-14, L 311-11 of the Education Code). The regulatory and educational provisions of the law were renovated, in particular through circular 2001-166 of 5 September 2001 and the Order of 12 May 2003. Regional language teaching was reasserted in the guidance and planning law for the future of schools of 23/04/2005. This teaching is organised as follows:

  • at elementary school, it is organised in the form of initiation teaching (1 to 3 hours a week) or bilingual teaching (whereby the regional language is both the taught and the teaching language).
  • at lower secondary school, in certain collèges, optional regional language and culture teaching of 1 hour per week may be proposed as a compulsory modern language 2 option or additional option. In addition, as an extension to bilingual teaching at school, regional language bilingual sections have been set up. These sections offer a weekly minimum of 3 hours of regional language and culture teaching as well as teaching of one or two subjects in the regional language.
  • at upper secondary school, in lycées, regional languages can be chosen as compulsory or additional options as modern language 2 or 3.

Secularism and the teaching of religious dogmas

The status of religion in France is defined by the law of 1905 on the separation of Church and State. Inspired by three principles - republican unity, respect for pluralism of philosophical and religious traditions, freedom of conscience - Church/State relations in France have been redefined as follows:
The State knows Churches (cults) without "recognising" them: it knows of their existence in civil society, without casting judgement on their spiritual or philosophical value.

  • Legal equality between the different beliefs is recognised. The State guarantees each individual the possibility of "disengagement" from the community of origin or belonging.
  • State aid to the different cults is indirect and takes different forms: tax deductions for voluntary donations to cultural associations (as to other associations); subsidies granted to associations with a religious, philosophical or other reference owing to the social value of activities conducted by those associations; maintenance of religious edifices (existing in 1905) made available free of charge to cults, legally owned by public authorities; existence of a specific social security system for clerks and priests.
  • Freedom of conscience and worship is fully recognised as is the free participation of religious bodies and groups with a religious or philosophical reference in public debate. In this spirit, members of various religious sensitivities sit on certain consultative committees (e.g. comité national d'éthique pour les sciences de la vie et de la santé) or take part in conciliation missions (e.g. Nouvelle Calédonie in 1989). However, none of the bodies or groups can claim a form of governance in society nor claim a privileged status on account of a transcendent reference.

The French State does not identify the religious belonging of its citizens in its census. In the context of the guidance and planning law of 8 July 2013 bearing on restructuring of the Republic’s school system, the secularism charter elucidates the issues involved in secularism in schools in its relationship with other of the Republic’s values. (cf. Chapter 2 Eurypedia, §2.1)