Koreans in France

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Koreans in France
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Paris, Villeurbanne, Grenoble, Strasbourg, Toulouse
Korean, French
Mahayana Buddhism[2]
Related ethnic groups
Korean diaspora, Koryo-Saram

Koreans in France numbered 12,684 individuals as of 2011, making them the 3rd-largest Korean diaspora community in Western Europe, according to South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.[1]

Migration history[edit]

Korean migration to France began in 1919, when the government of France issued work permits to 35 Korean migrant labourers.[3] From a community of just 3,310 in 1988, their numbers more than tripled by 2000, and then grew a further 30% by 2007.[4][5] However, from 2009 to 2011, their population shrank by 14%.[1] The vast majority live in Paris — about two-thirds, according to 2011 data, compared with four-fifths a decade before — with the largest concentrations in the 15th arrondissement. There more than twice as many women as men; the population has grown more gender-imbalanced as compared to a decade prior.[6][1] Unlike in the United States or Canada, with their large Korean American and Korean Canadian communities, few Koreans in France seek to naturalise as French citizens.[7] Among all South Korean nationals or former nationals in France, 786 (6%) have become French citizens, 2,268 (18%) are permanent residents, 6,325 (50%) are international students, and the remaining 3,305 (26%) hold other kinds of visas.[1]

Aside from South Korean expatriates, children adopted from Korea into French families form another portion of France's Korean population; most were adopted at between ages three and nine.[8] The number of North Korean refugees has also been on the rise.[9]


Koreans in France are served by five Korean-language weekend schools, the oldest and largest of which is the Paris Hangul School, established 18 August 1974; it enrolled 170 students as of 2007.[10] Four others, in Villeurbanne, Grenoble, Strasbourg, and Toulouse, were established between 1994 and 2000; they enrolled a further 78 students.[11][12][13][14] A significant number also attend French universities; in total, about half of the Korean population in France are estimated to be students, falling from two-thirds a decade ago.[6][1]

Inter-ethnic relations[edit]

Not many French people know that their country has a Korean community at all.[3] In many cases, Koreans are mistaken for Chinese and thus lumped in as economic refugees.[15]

Only about 200 of the South Koreans in France are members of internationally married couples consisting of a South Korean partner and a French partner.[6] Such couples experience a number of cultural conflicts, most commonly over the rigour of their children's education.[7]

Portrayals in popular culture of Koreans in France include the 2004 South Korean television series Lovers in Paris; its popularity has resulted in an increase in the number of Korean tourists visiting France.[3] A more recent one is Hong Sang-soo's 2008 film Night and Day.[16]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e f MOFAT 2011, p. 259
  2. ^ "Korean Buddhist organisations in France", World Buddhist Directory, Buddha Dharma Education Association, 2006, retrieved 2009-03-09 
  3. ^ a b c Lee 2006
  4. ^ Lee-Le Neindre 2001, p. 1
  5. ^ MOFAT 2009
  6. ^ a b c Lee-Le Neindre 2001, p. 2
  7. ^ a b Lee-Le Neindre 2001, p. 5
  8. ^ Ventureyra & Palliere 2004, p. 208
  9. ^ 프랑스 북한주민돕기위원회: "북한난민처리 기준 결의안 발의, 유럽의회에 올해 요청할 것", Radio Free Asia (in Korean), 2006-01-18, retrieved 2007-05-30 
  10. ^ NIIED 2007, 파리한글학교
  11. ^ NIIED 2007, 그르노블한국학교
  12. ^ NIIED 2007, 뚜르즈한글학교
  13. ^ NIIED 2007, 리용한글학교
  14. ^ NIIED 2007, 스트라스부르그한글학교
  15. ^ Lee-Le Neindre 2001, p. 3
  16. ^ Fainaru, Dan (2008-02-12), "Night and Day", Screen Daily, retrieved 2012-08-22 
  17. ^ Michael, Christopher (2008-04-09), "From despot's PR man to Surrey salesman", The Spectator, archived from the original on 2008-08-02, retrieved 2009-09-01 
  18. ^ "Korean Adoptee Becomes French Deputy Minister", Chosun Ilbo, 2012-05-18, retrieved 2012-05-19 
  19. ^ Falletti, Sébastien (2011-11-01), "Jean-Vincent Placé renoue avec ses racines coréennes", Le Figaro, retrieved 2012-08-18 


Further reading[edit]

  • Lim, Young-hee (November 2004), "History of Koreans in France", International Conference on Korean Historical Materials and the History of Koreans in Europe, University of Bonn 

External links[edit]