Wednesday, 6 January 2021

The South Touraine Population Decline

According to the French National Bureau of Statistics (INSEE) the South Touraine overall has lost 1189 inhabitants between the census of 2013 and the census of 2018, but there are a few communities out of the 67 in our corner of central France that have gained inhabitants.  The average municipality is made up of 767 inhabitants, down from 785 in 2013. Preuilly sur Claise has 1025 inhabitants.

Small town on a fair day, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Preuilly sur Claise.

Even Loches, the biggest population centre of our area, has had a net loss of people. Although an attractive residential choice, the aging population means that more people died than were born. The population is now 6232, down by over a hundred people from the last census. The mayor isn't surprised, but he points out that new incoming residents outweigh people who move away. This is actually causing a slight housing problem, which he hopes to solve by repurposing centrally located buildings such as the former police station and Alfred de Vigny school into residential properties. He is looking forward to an influx during 2021 of 40 public finance civil servants transferred or recruited there with their families.

Loches market, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

The municipality with the biggest percentage drop in population is Boussay, down to 215 people now. The place with the biggest percentage gain is Tauxigny Saint Bauld, a phenomenon which can be explained by geography. It is midway between the Tours conurbation and Loches, close to a big industrial zone and major arterial roads. The town offers lots of leisure activities and clubs, and housing is cheap. Other small towns which have attracted good numbers of new inhabitants compared to their size are Le Louroux, Chemillé sur Indrois and Saint Senoch. 

Descartes, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

The two most attractive municipalities in terms of net migration are Preuilly sur Claise and Abilly. However, Preuilly has the worst natural balance figures, with deaths far outweighing births. Our mayor, Jean-Paul Charrier, acknowledges that we have a very elderly population, resulting in a lot of houses coming on the market when people die. But the town is attracting incomers because of its history, architecture and good location, which brings professionals and those in the arts.

Cycle car, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

The smallest municipality in the South Touraine is Villedomain, with 117 inhabitants. Chanceaux près Loches, Esves le Moutier and La Guerche don't have that many more inhabitants, all under 200. The three largest municipalities are Loches (6232 inhabitants), Descartes (3427 inhabitants), and Ligueil (2159 inhabitants), all of them holding their own statistically in terms of population.


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Colin and Elizabeth said...

It is probably be down to employment. What is the availability of superfast broadband in Touraine which could help bring people in. It is a desirable place to live if you can make a living and as more and more goes on line fast internet is essential.

Susan said...

I don't think the Touraine has superfast broadband. Preuilly is going to be one of the last in Indre et Loire to get fibre optic. People are generally managing though if they want to live here.

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