According to Patrick’s proprietary model, France will struggle with only modest growth over the coming few decades. The country’s “youth deficit” and expanding proportion of seniors combine with anemic population growth, high government debt levels and a persistent trade deficit to dampen economic growth for the foreseeable future.
The good news is that the population will remain relatively stable along the way. Political volatility usually requires a lot of young people, and France has the opposite. In fact, the largest proportion of young people exist within the countries immigrant Muslim communities so the volatility that remains will be concentrated in those areas. People of the Muslim faith generally have larger families than those with Christian Judeo heritage. But even within immigrant communities, social unrest will be minimal.
The life expectancy and median age in France are both quite high. The nation is highly developed with significant entitlement programs, keeping people generally healthy well into their senior years. Of course, that same reality contribute to high government debt levels and the potential for pressure from the bond markets. Certainly, if Spain eventually requires a full blown bailout (as is mathematically inevitable at some point), France will follow soon thereafter. That means austerity and entitlement reform, both of which will dampen economic growth even more.
Note the significant youth deficit below, and also that it moderates as the years pass, likely because of continued immigration. These population projections came from the World Bank. Because of the aging baby boom generation, France’s senior population peaks (as a percentage of the total population) between 2025 and 2030, so the greatest economic strains will emerge before that time. Once that peak threshold is crossed, the situation should ease somewhat.
Patrick is an award-winning author and keynote speaker who can speak about demographic trends affecting France at conferences and business events in Paris or other French destinations.
DISCLAIMER: Projected results are NOT guaranteed. The forecasts for France above were calculated based on projected population data obtained from the World Bank website. The economic forecast used this demographic data along with adjusters for net exports, relative age distribution and per capita income projections. The political volatility forecast used the same demographic data along with adjusters for youth population percentage, projected economic growth and public government debt level. Please see the model methodology for more details.
Patrick Schwerdtfeger maintains a video blog entitled “Strategic Business Insights” and adds new videos on a regular basis. Some of the videos are ‘macro’ covering topics like global business trends and geopolitical dynamics. Others are ‘micro’ covering communication skills and your mental mindset. Access them here:
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