Informations in english


The Study of family history
or France's 1999 Family Survey


There are two main sources of demographic information in France. The census provides data on the state of the population at a given date; vital records tell us about population changes as measured by births, marriages, and deaths. But both sources are too general to shed light on aspects of individual behavior such as number of children, birth timing, types of partnership, remarriage, and so on.

The Family Survey completes this information system. It has been coupled with the population census since 1954, making it one of INSEE's oldest sample surveys. It is mainly intended to track the emergence of new family forms, through a retrospective and biographical questionnaire that reconstructs the demographic history of generations. Each successive survey also devotes a set of questions to a specific, topical theme, such as female participation in the labor force in 1982 or child care in 1990. The subject chosen for 1999 was the inter-generational transmission of languages and dialects.

In the March 1999 population census, 380,000 men and women living in private dwellings filled out an additional schedule on the subject of their "family history," including questions on their origins, children, partnerships, and social history, as well as the languages (both national and regional) customarily spoken in their families. The same information was gathered from 6,600 people living in institutions, including 1,700 male prison inmates.

The 1999 Family Survey demographic questionnaire has been thoroughly redesigned, and is the first to be addressed to men as well as women. It will provide material for numerous studies, covering family histories in all their complexity. The analysis of the supplementary questions on languages and dialects will, moreover, yield eagerly awaited information on France's linguistic diversity and the dynamics of national integration in the course of the twentieth century.


For a complete Survey presentation :  courrier des statistiques
Access to the data files : Model of an agreement (Pdf or Word 2000) between a research organisation and INED

Contact : Laurent Toulemon and Cécile Lefèvre



1999's form

1999's form :  Study of Family History


1999's Population Census Documents

Population census French Republic : Individual Bulletin
Population census French Republic :
Dwelling Form