Village registers first birth in 50 years
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