Seniors aged over 75 represent 10% of the French population

France, like many countries around the world, is facing an ageing population. Among the most important segments of this demographic transition, the “Grand Seniors”, generally defined as individuals aged 75 and over, represent a growing proportion of French society.

86% of women are centenarians

According to INSEE data for 2022, people aged 75 and over represent 10% of the French population, or more than 6 million people. There are more women (4 million) than men (2.7 million). Within this age group, one group stands out: the fast-growing group of centenarians. According to INSEE, there will be 30,000 of them in 2023, almost 30 times more than in the years 1960-1975. As the graph below shows, with 25,700 centenarians, women are heavily over-represented in this group, accounting for 86%.

It should be noted that France leads Europe in the number of centenarians. The increase in the number of births after the 1945 war and the rise in life expectancy will lead to a sharp rise in the number of centenarians. According to forecasts, there will be 270,000 of them by 2070, compared with just 200 in 1950 and 3,760 in 1990.

Half of centenarians live at home

Over the age of 80, the proportion of people living at home remains in the majority, but gradually decreases as they get older. Nevertheless, by the age of 90, 79% of people still choose to live in their own home. It is only after the age of 100 that the trend begins to reverse, and that living in an institution becomes more common than staying at home: at this age, just over one person in two lives in an institution. According to data from INSEE’s latest report, published in April 2023, 4% of centenarians live at home as a couple, 12% live with another person, such as a child, and a third live alone.

At this age, seniors are particularly vulnerable: their health is deteriorating, their social interactions are becoming rarer, and they are faced with the loss of a spouse and a worsening economic situation. With the number of people born in the 40s set to become centenarians, what impact will this increase in longevity have on society?



Also to read:

Population ageing: a European challenge

Baby boomers and ageing well: a multi-faceted lifestyle

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