Maghrebis in France

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Maghrebis in France or French Maghrebis are immigrants from Maghreb countries (mainly Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia) in France. The term may also refer to French-born persons who have Maghrebi parents or who have Maghrebi ancestral background. The term includes all ethnicities from the Maghreb living in France (Arabs and Berbers).

Migration history[edit]

During Al-Andalus, Maghrebis were known by some Europeans as Moors.[1] Those of them who speak Arabic are considered western Arabs in contrast to the eastern Arabs which are mostly in the Middle East.

Population and distribution[edit]

Maghrebis make up the largest non-European ethnic group in France. Estimates range between 4 million and 6 million people, depending on the number of generations of immigrant descendants included in the estimations, with part or full Maghrebi ancestry in France forming about 6-9% of France's total population. Out of this group, Berbers, who generally call themselves Amazigh and not Maghrebis, are estimated to number around 2 million people.[2][3]

According to the Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques (INSEE), 16% of newborns in France (about 130,000 newborns per year) between 2006 and 2008 have at least one Maghrebi grandparent.[4]

Maghrebis have settled mainly in the industrial regions in France, especially in the Paris region but also in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Languedoc-Roussillon, Alsace, Rhône-Alpes and Corsica.


The Paris metropolitan area has a large Maghrebian population. As of 2008, 18.1% of the population of the Parisian commune of Saint-Denis was Maghrebian.[5]

Notable people[edit]

Many famous French people like Edith Piaf,[6] Isabelle Adjani, Arnaud Montebourg, Alain Bashung, Dany Boon, Zinedine Zidane, Jacques Villeret, Daniel Prévost and Maïwenn have full or partial Maghrebi ancestry.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Moors were simply Maghrebis, inhabitants of the maghreb, the western part of the Islamic world, that extends from Spain to Tunisia, and represents a homogeneous cultural entity", Titus Burckhardt, "Moorish culture in Spain". Suhail Academy. 1997, p.7
  2. ^ Yazid Sabeg et Laurence Méhaignerie, Les oubliés de l'égalité des chances, Institut Montaigne, 2004
  3. ^ Pour une histoire sociale du berbère en France, Salem Shaker, Inalco, 2004
  4. ^ Les immigrés, les descendants d'immigrés et leurs enfants, Pascale Breuil-Genier, Catherine Borrel, Bertrand Lhommeau, Insee 2011
  5. ^ Maxwell, Rahsaan Daniel. Tensions and Tradeoffs: Ethnic Minority Migrant Integration in Britain and France. ProQuest, 2008. p. 197. ISBN 0549874585, 9780549874584.
  6. ^ Carolyn Burke. No Regrets: The Life of Edith Piaf, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2011, p.5


External links[edit]