Vil­lage reg­is­ters first birth in 50 years

France - - Nouvelles -

A tran­quil vil­lage in cen­tral France has reg­is­tered its first birth in 50 years, and led to a de­bate about the de­clin­ing pop­u­la­tions in ru­ral ar­eas of the coun­try.

The farm­ing vil­lage of Auge in the Creuse dé­parte­ment was so un­fa­mil­iar with the pit­ter-pat­ter of tiny feet that the mayor, Élis­a­beth Henry, was not sure of the pro­ce­dure for adding the birth to the civil registry. “We are used to record­ing deaths, not births, and when the cou­ple came in with their baby, we were con­cerned that we would fill the registry in wrongly,” she said.

The birth of the baby girl, who has been named Ax­elle, was greeted warmly by vil­lagers, half of whom are over 60 years old. In re­cent years, the school has closed and many houses have been left empty as fam­i­lies moved away to the towns. The mayor hoped the news of the baby’s birth would at­tract fam­i­lies back to the vil­lage.

The Creuse coun­try­side

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