THE French population has incresed and has broken the symbolic 65 million barrier, according to recently published figures from the national statistics office INSEE (Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques).
They reveal that the population of France was 65,241,241 on January 1, 2012, which is an increase of 300,000 on the previous year.
This confirms that France is the second most populous country in Europe, which is still well behind Germany with 80.3million inhabitants, but slightly ahead of the United Kingdom which has a population of 63.5million.
According to the figures from INSEE, France experienced a 0.5% increase in population in a year, which was above the European average growth of 0.3%.
The three most populated areas in France are Ile-de-France, with 11.9 million inhabitants, Rhône-Alpes with 6.3 million and Provence-Alpes-Cote Riviera with 4.9 million.
The least populated metropolitan areas in France are Corsica with 316,257 inhabitants and Limousin with 738,633 inhabitants.
It is estimated that there are currently about 1.87 million French residents who live overseas, which represents 2.86% of the total population.
The increase in the population is spread around the country with INSEE saying that 80% of departments have seen the number of inhabitants rise over the past five years.