Saint Martin

THE DECLINE OF THE FRENCH CARIBBEAN POPULATION: Island population continues to decline – January 8, 2020

THE DECLINE OF THE FRENCH CARIBBEAN POPULATION: Island population continues to decline – January 8, 2020

The island had 17 379 inhabitants at 1 st January 2017, according to figures from INSEE. That’s 344 fewer people than in 2012.

There is some good news, like the 8.2% increase in the municipal population * in Loix (+55 inhabitants), 2.5% in Sainte-Marie-de-Ré (+83 inhabitants) and 0, 8% in Ars-en-Ré (+10 inhabitants) for example. But according to the latest figures from the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee), they are the only municipalities to have seen their population increase between 2012 and 2017 ** on the island.

At Rivedoux-Plage, the drop is limited to 0.1%. But it is more pronounced in Portes-en-Ré (-2.6%), La Couarde-sur-Mer (-2.9%), La Flotte (-3.5%) and Bois-Plage- en-Ré (-4.5%). And it even exceeds the 5% drop in 5 years in Saint-Clément-des-Baleines (-6.9%) and in Saint-Martin-de-Ré (-7.6%). A total decline of 1.94% on the island (-344 inhabitants).

Lionel Quillet takes note of this ” erosion “, which he explains by a decline in the birth rate and by the ” wall ” in the price of land. But the president of the community of municipalities wants to be optimistic and combative: ” Faced with an economic law that is against us, we must fight. He underlines that these 2017 figures do not take into account deliveries of housing to Bois-Plage-en-Ré, Saint-Martin-de-Ré and La Flotte for the past two years. ” 170 homes in total, or 350 additional people, ” he said.

Attractiveness remains an asset

Lionel Quillet also mentions social, health (” 26 general practitioners: more than certain departments “) and cultural (with the new Maline) policies. ” This contributes to the attractiveness of the territory, as does the arrival of very high speed this year, ” he maintains, highlighting the dynamics of Sainte-Marie-de-Ré and that of his municipality of Loix.

The year-round population of the island is also hampered by Airbnb rentals (Lionel Quillet evokes the work on the tourist tax) and by the high number of second homes. ” There are no public policies to limit them, ” he concedes. But here again, he is betting on a reversal of the situation, particularly with climate change. “ I hear more and more Parisians deploring everyday life in the capital, while that on the island attracts, even in winter. Tourist attractiveness becomes an attractiveness of life, all year round, ”he concludes. SB

* The municipal population includes people having their usual residence on the territory of the municipality, in a dwelling or a community, people detained in penal establishments of the municipality and people usually residing in a mobile dwelling listed on the territory of the common.

** Figures exist for the years 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. But given the census system, the comparison of two consecutive years is not relevant and INSEE prefers to give the trends over 5 years.

Charente-Maritime still as dynamic

New Aquitaine remains the fourth most populous region in France, with nearly 6 million inhabitants (5,956,978 as of January 1, 2017). Since 2012, the number of Neo-Aquitaine residents has increased by 0.5% per year (or 2.5% in 5 years). Over the same period, the number of Charentais-Maritimes increased in the same proportion, going from 628,733 to 644,303. Deaths are more numerous than births, but the positive migratory balance shows the attractiveness of the territory.

Concerning the main municipalities of the department, La Rochelle (75,735 inhabitants: + 0.4% annual) and Royan (18,398 inhabitants: + 0.8% annual) regained inhabitants between 2012 and 2017, while they were losing over the previous period. The drop in population is confirmed, on the contrary, in Saintes (25,470 inhabitants: -1.1%) and Rochefort (24,151 inhabitants: -0.5%).

At the national level, INSEE notes that demographic growth is particularly marked in sparse areas. This is the case in Charente-Maritime. Between 2007 and 2017, the population of sparsely or very sparsely populated municipalities increased by 0.92%, compared with an increase of 0.26% for densely populated or medium-density municipalities.

La population de l’île continue de décliner

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