France's life expectancy dropped slightly in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, official statistics show.
Life expectancy at birth dropped by six months for men and five months for women in 2020 compared to the previous year, France's national statistics agency, INSEE, said in its latest "Demographic Profile" report.
A French man is now expected to live 79.2 years, while women have a life expectancy of 85.2 years.
The fall is sharper than the one recorded during the 2015 winter flu epidemic, INSEE noted.
It also flagged that the number of deaths rose by 7.3 per cent year-on-year with about 658,000 fatalities recorded.
"The COVID-19 pandemic particularly affected deaths in the spring and at the end of the year," it said.
More than 70,000 people have lost their lives to COVID-19 in France since the beginning of the pandemic — the European Union's second-highest tally.
The overall population grew by 0.3 per cent to 67,422,000 people. The rise is slightly lower than in the previous year, due, in part, to the pandemic and to the continued decline in the number of births.
Some 740,000 babies were born in France last year, a 1.8 per cent drop on 2019 and the sixth consecutive year of decline. Nearly 800,000 children were born in 2015.
Still, France's fertility rate at 1.84 children per woman remains the highest in the EU, INSEE said.
Weddings were another casualty of the pandemic with a "historic" drop of 34.1 per cent year-on-year.
France has one of the highest life expectancy rates across the European Union. In 2018, a French person could expect to live 82.9, putting the country in third position behind Spain and Italy, and on par with the UK and Cyprus, according to data from Eurostat.