Immigration to France

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A French biometric residence permit issued to non-EU citizens EPassport logo.svg
A French residence permit issued to non-EU citizens

In 2010, Eurostat estimated that 7.2 million foreign-born immigrants lived in France corresponding to 11.1% of the total population. Of these, 5.1 million (7.8%) were born outside the European Union and 2.1 million (3.3%) were born in another EU member state.[1]

In 2008, the French national institute of statistics INSEE, which has a more restrictive definition of immigration than Eurostat, estimated that 5,3 million foreign-born immigrants and 6.5 million direct descendants of immigrants (born in France with at least one immigrant parent) lived in France representing a total of 11.8 million and 19% of the total population in metropolitan France (62,1 million in 2008). Among them, about 5,5 million are of European origin, 4 million of Maghrebi (either Arabs or Berbers) origin, 1 million of Sub-saharan African origin and 400,000 of Turkish origin.[2][3]

The region with the largest proportion of immigrants is the Île-de-France (Greater Paris), where 40% of immigrants live. Other important regions are Rhône-Alpes (Lyon) and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (Marseille).

Among the 802,000 newborns in metropolitan France in 2010, 27.3% had at least one foreign-born parent and about one quarter (23.9%) had at least one parent born outside of Europe.[4][5] Including grandparents, about 40% of newborns in France between 2006 and 2008 had at least one foreign-born grandparent (11% born in another European country, 16% born in Maghreb and 12% born in another region of the world).[6]

History[edit]

1945-1974[edit]

Right after the Second World War, immigration to France significantly increased. During the period of reconstruction, France lacked labor, and as a result, the French government was eager to recruit immigrants coming from all over Europe, Latin America, and Africa.

Although there was a presence of Vietnamese in France since the late 19th century (mostly students and workers), a wave of Vietnamese migrated to the country after the Battle of Dien Bien Phu and the Geneva Accords, which granted Vietnam its independence from France in 1954. These migrants consisted of those who were loyal to the colonial government and those married to French colonists. Following the partition of Vietnam, students and professionals from South Vietnam continued to arrive in France. Although many initially returned to the country after a few years, as the Vietnam War situation worsened, a majority decided to remain in France and brought their families over as well.[7]

This period also saw a significant wave of immigrants from Algeria. As the Algerian War started in 1954, there were already 200,000 Algerian immigrants in France.[8] However, because of the tension between the Algerians and the French, these immigrants were no longer welcome. This conflict between the two sides led to the Paris Massacre of 17 October 1961, when the police used force against an Algerian demonstration on the streets of Paris. After the war, after Algeria gained its independence, the free circulation between France and Algeria was once again allowed, and the number of Algerian immigrants started to increase drastically. From 1962 to 1975, the Algerian immigrant population increased from 350,000 to 700,000.[9] Many of these immigrants were known as the "harkis," and the others were known as the "pieds-noirs." The "harkis" were Algerians who supported the French during the Algerian War; once the war was over, they were deeply resented by other Algerians, and thus had to flee to France. The "pieds-noirs" were French citizens who moved to Algeria, but once again migrated back to France.

Additionally, the number of Pakistani and Japanese immigrants also increased during this period. There was also a great number of students and workers from former French colonies in Africa.

With this massive influx of immigrants, France became an asylum for refugees. According to the convention in Geneva, refugee status was granted to four out of five immigrant applicants. Many of these refugees came from countries in Eastern European (i.e. Hungary) and Latin America, because they feared the dictatorship in their home countries.

Although the majority of immigrants at this time came from rural regions, only 6% of them were willing to work in agriculture. About two-third of the immigrants worked in mining, steel, construction, and automotive industries. Approximately 12% of male immigrants and the majority of female immigrants worked in domestic services, restoration, and commerce. Minor and aged immigrants usually worked in craftsmanship and small scale trades.[8]

Immigration flows[edit]

By region[edit]

Immigration to France exceeded 200,000 in recent years, as shown in table below.[10]

Region 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 % 2008
Africa 94 317 101 658 100 567 95 309 92 194 83 606 90 582 42.9% (including 26.6% from Maghreb )
European Union 50 540 50 274 46 708 55 941 55 000 55 000 55 000 26.1%
Other European countries (including Turkey) 16 438 17 518 18 529 21 063 19 328 16 720 17 656 8.4% (including 3.6% from Turkey)
Asia 29 070 30 346 30 458 29 274 29 918 29 196 31 700 15.0% (including 5.6% from China)
Americas 14 682 14 958 14 917 14 941 15 454 14 272 15 154 7.2%
Others 660 642 684 756 826 864 963 0.5%
All countries 205 707 215 396 211 863 217 284 212 720 199 658 211 055 100%

By country[edit]

Selected countries (excluding member states of the European Economic Area):[11]

Country % of all
immigrants
2008
% of all
immigrants
2007
% of all
immigrants
2006
% of all
immigrants
2005
% of all
immigrants
2004
Algeria 11.2% 12.0% 14.1% 14.0% 15.2%
Morocco 11.1% 9.5% 9.4% 10.4% 11.4%
China 5.6% 5.0% 4.8% 4.0% 4.0%
Tunisia 4.3% 4.4% 4.5% 4.5% 4.7%
Turkey 3.6% 3.6% 4.1% 4.0% 3.7%
Romania 2.3% 1.7% 1.3% 1.2% 1.3%
Mali 2.1% 1.3% 1.4% 1.2% 1.2%
Cameroon 1.9% 1.9% 2.1% 2.1% 2.0%
United States 1.8% 1.7% 2.0% 2.0% 2.2%
Senegal 1.7% 1.8% 1.7% 1.7% 1.9%
Russia 1.6% 1.5% 1.7% 2.0% 2.0%
Côte d'Ivoire 1.5% 1.6% 1.8% 1.7% 1.9%
Brazil 1.4% 1.4% 1.1% 1.0% 0.9%

The immigrant population[edit]

In 2008, according to Insee, immigrants and their direct descendants (2nd generation) numbered at 12 million making up about 20% of the population.[12] Insee considers an immigrant a person born in a foreign country not having French citizenship at birth. Without considering citizenship at birth, people not born in metropolitan France and their direct descendants made up 30% of the population aged 18–50 in metropolitan France in 2008.[13]

There were 5.3 million immigrants in 2008, corresponding to 8.5% of the total population in France (63.9 million in 2008). 42% were from Africa (30% from Maghreb and 12% from Sub-Saharan Africa), 38% from Europe (mainly from Portugal, Italy and Spain), 14% from Asia and 5% from the Americas and Oceania.[4] Of this total, 40% have assumed French citizenship. In addition, 1.8 million people born in foreign countries (including 1 million in Maghreb) with French citizenship at birth were not included in this total.

There were also 6.7 million direct descendants of immigrants ( born in France with at least one immigrant parent) living in France in 2008, corresponding to 11% of the total population in France. Immigrants aged 18–50 count for 2,7 millions (10% of population aged 18–50) and 5.3 millions for all ages (8% of population). 2nd Generation aged 18–50 make up 3.1 millions (12% of 18-50) and 6.5 millions for all ages (11% of population).[2] The regions with the largest proportion of immigrants and direct descendants of immigrants are the Île-de-France and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur/Languedoc-Roussillon, where respectively more than one third and one quarter of the inhabitants are either immigrants or direct descendants of immigrants.[14]

The following table shows immigrants and 2nd generation immigrants by origin in 2008. 3rd generation immigrants, illegal immigrants, as well as ethnic minorities like Black people from the French overseas territories residing in metropolitan France (800,000), Roms (500,000) or people born in Maghreb with French citizenship at birth (about 4 million Maghrebi Jews, Harkis and Pied-Noir including their descendants live in France[15]) are not taken into account.[16]

Immigrants by origin (2008) in thousands Immigrants 2nd generation Total %
Spain 257 620 877 7.3%
Italy 317 920 1 237 10.4%
Portugal 581 660 1 241 10.4%
Other countries from UE27 653 920 1 573 13.2%
Other European countries 224 210 434 3.6%
Europe Total 2 032 3 330 5 362 44.9%
Algeria 713 1 000 1 713 14.3%
Morocco 654 660 1 314 11.0%
Tunisia 235 290 525 4.4%
Maghreb Total 1 602 1 950 3 552 29.7%
Subsaharan Africa 669 570 1 239 10.4%
Turkey 239 220 459 3.8%
SouthEast Asia 163 160 323 2.7%
Other Asian countries 355 210 565 4.7%
America/Oceania 282 170 452 3.8%
Other Regions Total 1 708 1 330 3 038 25.4%
Total 5 342 6 610 11 952 100.00%

In 2005, 18.1% of young people under 18 were of foreign origin (at least one immigrant parent) in France including 13.5% of non-European origin. Ile-de-France has the highest proportion at about 37%.[17][18]

People under 18 of Maghrebi, Sub-saharian and Turkish origin became a majority in several cities of Ile-de-France (Clichy-sous-Bois, Mantes-la-Jolie, Grigny, Saint-Denis, Les Mureaux, Saint-Ouen, Sarcelles, Pierrefitte-sur-Seine, Garges-lès-Gonesse, Aubervilliers, Stains, Gennevilliers et Épinay-sur-Seine) and in several arrondissements of Marseilles. In Grigny, 31% of young people are of Sub-saharian origin[19]

Children of immigrants under 18 by origin (2005) %
Maghreb 38
Europe 27
Sub-saharan Africa 16
Others 19
Total 100

27.3% of the 802,000 newborns in metropolitan France in 2010 had at least one foreign-born parent. About one quarter (23.9%) of all the newborns had at least one parent born outside of Europe including about 17% from Africa (11% from Maghreb and 6% from Subsaharan Africa).[4][5] Including grandparents, about 40% of newborns in France between 2006 and 2008 had at least one foreign-born grandparent (11% born in another European country, 16% born in Maghreb and 12% born in another region of the world).[6]

Immigration per region[edit]

In France, the three largest cities (Paris, Lyon and Marseille) [20] also attract the largest share of immigrants to the country.

Île-de-France[edit]

The region with the largest proportion of immigrants is the Île-de-France (Greater Paris), where 40% of immigrants live. According to INSEE, French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies, responsible for the production and analysis of official statistics in France, about 35% of people (4 millions) living in Île-de-France, are either immigrant (17%) or born to at least one immigrant parent (18%) in 2006.[21]

In the city of Paris, 20% of people living are immigrants and 41.3% of people under 20 have at least one immigrant parent.[22] Among the young people under 18, 12.1% are of Maghrebi origin, 9.9% of Subsaharan African origin (not including Blacks from French West Indies) and 4.0% of South European origin.[23]

In département of Seine-Saint-Denis (population of 1.5 million), 56.7% of young under 18 are or foreign origin including 38% of African origin. Islam is the main religion.[24]

Département Immigrants Children under 20 with at least one immigrant parent
Number % département % Ile-de-France Number % département % Ile-de-France
Paris (75) 436'576 20 22.4 162'635 41.3 15.4
Seine-Saint-Denis (93) 394'831 26.5 20.2 234'837 57.1 22.2
Hauts-de-Seine (92) 250'190 16.3 12.8 124'501 34 11.8
Val-de-Marne (94) 234'633 18.1 12 127'701 40 12.1
Val-d’Oise (95) 185'890 16.1 9.5 124'644 38.5 11.8
Yvelines (78) 161'869 11.6 8.3 98'755 26.4 9.3
Essonne (91) 150'980 12.6 7.7 94'003 29.6 8.9
Seine-et-Marne (77) 135'654 10.7 7 90'319 26 8.5
Île-de-France 1'950'623 16.9 100 1'057'394 37.1 100

Reading: 436 576 immigrants live in Paris, representing 20% of Parisians and 22.4% of immigrants in Ile-de-France. 162 635 children under 20 with at least one immigrant parent live in Paris, representing 41.3% of the total of children under 20 in Paris and 15.4% of the total of children under 20 with at least one immigrant parent in Ile-de-France.

Children under 18 with at least one immigrant parent (2005) Seine-Saint-Denis Paris Val-de-Marne Val-d'Oise France
All origins 56.7 % 41.30 % 39.90 % 37.90 % 18.10 %
Maghreb 22.0 % 12.1 % 13.2 % 13.0 % 6.9 %
Sub-saharan Africa 16.0 % 9.9 % 10.8 % 9.1 % 3.0 %
Turkey 2.7 % 0.6 % 1.2 % 3.1 % 1.4 %
South Europe 4.0 % 4.0 % 5.5 % 4.8 % 2.6 %

Ethnic groups[edit]

Maghrebis[edit]

French of Maghrebi (either Arabs or Berbers) origin in France form the largest ethnic group after French of European origin.

According to Michel Tribalat, a researcher at INED, there were 3.5 million people of Maghrebi origin (with at least one grandparent from Algeria, Morocco or Tunisia) living in France in 2005 corresponding to 5.8% of the total French metropolitan population (60.7 millions in 2005).[25] Maghrebis have settled mainly in the industrial regions in France, especially in the Paris region. Many famous French people like Edith Piaf,[26] Isabelle Adjani, Arnaud Montebourg, Alain Bashung, Dany Boon have Maghrebi ancestry.

Below is a table of population of Maghrebi origin in France, numbers are in thousands:

Country 1999 2005 % 1999/2005 % French population (60.7 millions in 2005)
Algeria 1,577 1,865 +18.3% 3.1%
Immigrants 574 679
Born in France 1,003 1,186
Morocco 1,005 1,201 +19.5% 2.0%
Immigrants 523 625
Born in France 482 576
Tunisia 417 458 +9.8% 0.8%
Immigrants 202 222
Born in France 215 236
Total Maghreb 2,999 3,524 +17.5% 5.8%
Immigrants 1 299 1 526 2.5%
Born in France 1 700 1 998 3.3%

In 2005, the percentage of young people under 18 of Maghrebi origin (at least one immigrant parent) were about 7% in Metropolitan France, 12% in Greater Paris, 13% in Lyon, 21% in Perpignan, 22% in French département of Seine-Saint-Denis, 37% in 18th arrondissement of Paris and 40% in several arrondissements of Marseilles.[27][28]

16% of newborns in France between 2006 and 2008 have at least one Maghrebi grandparent.[6]

According to other sources between 5 and 6 million people of Maghrebi origin live in France corresponding to about 7-9% of the total French metropolitan population.[29]

Illegal Immigration[edit]

Illegal immigration to France has developed as the country's immigration policy has become more rigid. In 2006, The French Ministry of the Interior estimated clandestine immigrants ("sans-papiers ") in France numbered anywhere between 200,000 and 400,000, also expecting between 80,000 and 100,000 people to enter the country illegally each year.[30]

In 2011, 28,000 illegal immigrants were expelled from France. The new goal set by the French government is 35,000.[31][32]

The French government have threatened to withdraw from the Schengen accord.[33][34][35][36][37][38]

Right of Asylum[edit]

Citizenship[edit]

Children born in France to foreign parents are automatically granted French citizenship upon reaching the age of 18. People born abroad and living in France can acquire French citizenship if they satisfy certain conditions. In 2009 the number of naturalised persons was 135,000, mainly from Maghreb (41.2%).

Naturalisations by origin 2000 2005 2009 % Total 2009
Africa 84 182 98 453 85 144 62.7
Maghreb 68 185 75 224 56 024 41.2
Sub-Saharan Africa 10 622 15 624 22 214 16.4
Other Africa 5 375 7 605 6 906 5.1
Asia 27 941 26 286 19 494 14.4
South-East Asia 7 265 4 069 2 475 1.8
East Asia 1 139 1 280 1 622 1.2
South Asia 4 246 4 436 3 660 2.7
Other Asia 15 291 16 501 11 737 8.6
Europe (not including CIS ) 22 085 18 072 14 753 10.9
CIS 1 181 2 108 4 704 3.5
CIS (Europe) 1 000 1 535 4 454 3.3
CIS (Asia) 181 573 250 0.2
America 5 668 6 352 6 677 4.9
North America 1 048 854 747 0.5
South and Central America 4 620 5 498 5 930 4.4
Oceania 87 127 108 0.1
Others 8 882 3 245 4 962 3.7
Total 150 026 154 643 135 842 100

Comparison with other countries from European Union[edit]

According to Eurostat 47.3 million people lived in the European Union in 2010 who were born outside their resident country. This corresponds to 9.4% of the total EU population. Of these, 31.4 million (6.3%) were born outside the EU and 16.0 million (3.2%) were born in another EU member state. The largest absolute numbers of people born outside the EU were in Germany (6.4 million), France (5.1 million), the United Kingdom (4.7 million), Spain (4.1 million), Italy (3.2 million), and the Netherlands (1.4 million).[1] Regarding France, the number of immigrants reported by Eurostat (7.1 million) is higher than the one reported by Insee (5.3 million) because Insee only reports as immigrants people who were born abroad as foreign citizens.

Country Total population (1000) Total Foreign-born (1000) % Born in other EU state (1000) % Born in a non EU state (1000) %
EU 27 501,098 47,348 9.4 15,980 3.2 31,368 6.3
Germany 81,802 9,812 12.0 3,396 4.2 6,415 7.8
France 64,716 7,196 11.1 2,118 3.3 5,078 7.8
United Kingdom 62,008 7,012 11.3 2,245 3.6 4,767 7.7
Spain 45,989 6,422 14.0 2,328 5.1 4,094 8.9
Italy 60,340 4,798 8.0 1,592 2.6 3,205 5.3
Netherlands 16,575 1,832 11.1 428 2.6 1'404 8.5
Greece 11,305 1,256 11.1 315 2.8 940 8.3
Sweden 9,340 1,337 14.3 477 5.1 859 9.2
Austria 8,367 1,276 15.2 512 6.1 764 9.1
Belgium (2007) 10,666 1,380 12.9 695 6.5 685 6.4
Portugal 10,637 793 7.5 191 1.8 602 5.7
Denmark 5,534 500 9.0 152 2.8 348 6.3

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b 6.5% of the EU population are foreigners and 9.4% are born abroad, Eurostat, Katya VASILEVA, 34/2011.
  2. ^ a b Être né en France d’un parent immigré, Insee Première, n°1287, mars 2010, Catherine Borrel et Bertrand Lhommeau, Insee
  3. ^ Répartition des immigrés par pays de naissance 2008, Insee, October 2011
  4. ^ a b c Naissances selon le pays de naissance des parents 2010, Insee, septembre 2011
  5. ^ a b Parents born in overseas territories are considered as born in France.
  6. ^ a b c Les immigrés, les descendants d'immigrés et leurs enfants, Pascale Breuil-Genier, Catherine Borrel, Bertrand Lhommeau, Insee 2011
  7. ^ La Diaspora Vietnamienne en France un cas particulier (in French)
  8. ^ a b "Le film : deux siècles d'histoire de l'immigration en France." http://www.histoire-immigration.fr/histoire-de-l-immigration/le-film
  9. ^ "En 1962, lors de l’Indépendance, ils sont 350 000. En 1975 les émigrants algériens sont 710 000 et constituent le deuxième groupe d’étrangers après les Portugais." "De 1945 à 1975." http://www.histoire-immigration.fr/dix-themes-pour-connaitre-deux-siecles-d-histoire-de-l-immigration/emigrer/de-1945-a-1975
  10. ^ Statistiques détaillées sur les flux d'immigration, Ined, 2011
  11. ^ INED
  12. ^ Les descendants d'immigrés plus nombreux que les immigrés : une position française originale en Europe, Insee 2012
  13. ^ Enquête sur la diversité des populations en France, Insee 2011
  14. ^ Les descendants d'immigrés plus nombreux que les immigrés : une position française originale en Europe, Insee 2012
  15. ^ Les harkis montrent les dents, Le Point, 24 January 2012
  16. ^ Fiches thématiques - Population immigrée - Immigrés - Insee Références - Édition 2012, Insee 2012
  17. ^ Michèle Tribalat, Revue Commentaire, juin 2009, n°127
  18. ^ Michèle Tribalat, Les yeux grands fermés, Denoël, 2010
  19. ^ Michèle Tribalat, Immigration et démographie des pays d’accueil, in Christophe Jaffrelot et Christian Lequesne L'Enjeu mondial, Presses de Sciences Po | Annuels 2009, pages 29 à 35
  20. ^ http://www.immigration-residency.eu statistics Immigration to France 2013
  21. ^ Les descendants d'immigrés vivant en Île-de-France, IAU Idf, Note rapide Société, n° 531
  22. ^ Les immigrés et leur famille en Île-de-France, Note rapide Société, n° 552, Juin 2011
  23. ^ Michèle Tribalat, Les jeunes d'origine étrangère in Revue Commentaire, juin 2009, n°126, p.434
  24. ^ Michèle Tribalat, Michèle Tribalat : "L'islam reste une menace", Le Monde, 13 octobre 2011
  25. ^ Michèle Tribalat , « Mariages « mixtes » et immigration en France », Espace populations sociétés [En ligne] , 2009/2 | 2009 , mis en ligne le 01 avril 2011
  26. ^ Carolyn Burke. No Regrets: The Life of Edith Piaf, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2011, p.5
  27. ^ Michèle Tribalat, Revue Commentaire, juin 2009, n°126, p.436
  28. ^ Michèle Tribalat, Les yeux grands fermés, Denoël, 2010
  29. ^ Robert Castel, La discrimination négative, Paris, La République des idées/Seuil, 2007
  30. ^ RFI - Immigration - Combien d’immigrés clandestins en France
  31. ^ Seales, Rebecca (10 January 2012). "We kicked out more illegal immigrants than ever before in 2011: France reveals it deported 33,000 people in just 12 months". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  32. ^ "France to increase expulsions of illegal immigrants". Le Figaro. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  33. ^ "France: Record Number Of Illegal Immigrants Expelled". Huffington Post. 10 January 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  34. ^ Whitehead, Tom (8 December 2011). "Illegals immigrants can exploit 'Lille loophole' to get in to UK on Eurostar". Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  35. ^ "The 'French dream' of Tunisia’s illegal immigrants". France 24. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  36. ^ "In Calais, Illegal Migrants Driven Underground". Time. 15 December 2009. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  37. ^ "Nicolas Sarkozy threatens French pullout of visa-free zone". The Economic Times. Retrieved 1 April 2012. [dead link]
  38. ^ "Sarkozy intensifies anti-immigration rhetoric". DW. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 

External links[edit]