The demography of France is monitored by the Institut national d'études démographiques (INED) and the Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques (INSEE). On 1 January 2011, 65,821,885 people lived in the French Republic. 63,136,180 of these lived in metropolitan France, whereas 2,685,705 lived in the French overseas departments and territories.
France was historically the largest nation of Europe. During the Middle Ages, more than one quarter of Europe's total population was French; during the 17th century, it was still one fifth of Europe's total population. At the beginning of the 20th century, France's population was low compared with that of its neighbors and with its previous history. However, the country's population sharply increased with the baby boom following World War II.
The national birth rate, after continuing to drop for a time, began to rebound in the 1990s and currently the country's fertility rate is close to the replacement level. According to an INSEE 2006 study, "The natural increase is close to 300,000 persons, a level that has not been reached in more than thirty years." Among the 802,000 newborns in metropolitan France in 2010, 80.1% had two French parents, 13.3% had one French parent, and 6.6% had two foreign-born parents.
Figures for the population of Europe vary according to which definition of European boundaries is used. The population within the standard physical geographical boundaries was 731 million in 2005 according to the United Nations. In 2010 the population is 711 million, using the definition which has been used for centuries, that Europe's boundaries are on the continental divides of the Caucasus and Ural mountains and the Bosporous, including the populated parts of countries of Russia, and a portion of Turkey. Population growth is comparatively slow, and median age comparatively high in relation to the world's other continents.
Since the Renaissance, Europe has had a dominating influence in culture, economics and social movements in the world. European demography is important not only historically, but also in understanding current international relations and population issues.
Some current and past issues in European demography have included religious emigration, ethnic relations, economic immigration, a declining birth rate and an ageing population. In some countries, such as Poland, access to abortion is currently limited and it is entirely illegal in the Mediterranean nation of Malta. In the past, such restrictions and also restrictions on artificial birth control were commonplace throughout Europe. Furthermore, some European countries (currently Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland) have allowed a limited form of voluntary euthanasia. It remains to be seen how much demographic impact this may have.