At 75 million, France is projected to have the largest population in the EU (of current members) by 2050, according to French government figures. France’s baby-friendly policies, plus reasonably large immigration seems behind the projected increase (the country’s population is now just over 60 million). By contrast Germany’s population is set to fall to 72m, around 8m less than at present.
Edward has already looked at the prospects of an ageing society and indeed suggested that France’s better demographics might be behind its more (at least compared with Germany) energetic consumers. It should in time also help with the pensions problem as noted by the OECD.
Of course all demographic predictions over a long time period need to be taken with a pinch of salt (though not a large one, around half of the people alive in 2050 are alive today). My copy of John Gunther’s classic 1930s European-politics survey, “Inside Europe” states that a defining feature of the British socio-poiltical scene is “The decline in the birth rate, which, according to competent estimates, will reduce the population to thirty-three million by 1985”. In fact it was about 57m.