Fastest-growing population in mainland France
An attractive place to live, the region gained 51,400 new residents on average per year between 2009 and 2014 - the equivalent of a town the size of Narbonne, Saint-Cyprien or Rodez. Eighty per cent of this increase is due to inter-regional migration, but natural growth factors (birth and death rates) also play a role.
If this rhythm continues, Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerranée will surpass Hauts-de-France and Nouvelle-Aquitaine by 2022, according to Insee (the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies).
A number of growing urban centres
The Toulouse urban area (the 4th-largest in France, with 1.3 million inhabitants) accounts for a third of all demographic growth in the region. This growth trend ripples out into nearby smaller cities such as Montauban and Albi, according to Insee.
The population of Montpellier is growing by 9,300 people per year (the highest rate among large cities in the region) and its hinterland comprises a number of coastal towns and cities, including Nîmes, Sète, Béziers, Narbonne, Perpignan, and Saint-Cyprien. Elsewhere, Tarbes, Castres and Carcassonne have seen their populations fall since 2009.
A slightly older population
The region is home to slightly fewer young people and slightly more senior citizens than the national average: 28% are aged 25 or younger (France: 30.3%) and 27.8% are aged 60 or older (France: 24.9 %).
The average age is 41.8 years. Life expectancy at birth is 79.6 years (second highest in France after Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes).
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