Re: ISO/IEC 10646 and ISO/IEC 14651 freely available

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Thu Sep 28 2006 - 14:13:49 CST

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    From: "Samuel Thibault" <>
    > Philippe Verdy, le Thu 28 Sep 2006 13:16:32 +0200, a écrit :
    >> From: "Eric Muller" <>
    >> > Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
    >> >> - most standards there are not very exciting.
    >> > While not exciting, ISO/IEC 5218:2004 is certainly an interesting reading.
    >> I just wonder what this standard can be really used for,
    > On France's health system, we use 1 for male, 2 for female, and 9 for
    > "not applicable". I guess this is 5218.

    And 3 and 4 as well, due to the format of the INSEE number, which is:
    * 1 digit for male/female/.../others
    * 2 digits for year of birth
    * 2 digits for month of birth
    * 5 digits for the INSEE code of the city of birth in France (starting by 2 or 3 digits for the department), or special codes for other countries, and for which a registry of births is opened each month
    * 3 digits for the order of birth in that month and in that registry

    The social security number is the same, but is generally completed by a 2 digits modulo-97 control checksum key (named "clé" in French).

    No field has a zero value, except the year. When there are more than 999 births in a month, some cities have a second registry number with another 5 digits INSEE code. For some others, this is the first digit (sex) that is allocated, and this digit can also be used in case of conflicts with living people born in the previous century.

    So there are differences, and the first digit of the personal INSEE number does not follow this standard exactly (and it has not to follow it, simply because the INSEE system predates this 2004 standard by more than half a century).

    The INSEE code was initially introduced for military purposes for control of population, and then the registry was transfered to the INSEE for civil applications after WW2, when the national Etat Civil was rebuilt. This number was criticized for its military origin, but now most people don't care about it, and its most common application is for the benefit of the Social Security (Health care, retirement benefit, social benefits).

    The Social Security uses some unallocated digit for other purpose, notably for registering people that are not French and don't have a INSEE number but can benefit from it (for example foreign students). This first field is then not necessarily encoding the people gender, and even so, it is not changed for transgender people even if they get a new legal sex.

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