Moroccan diaspora

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Total population
c. 10 million
Regions with significant populations
 Spainat least 840,000[1][2][3]
 Israel~ 1,200,000[5]
 United States300,544[10]
 United Arab Emirates250,000[12]
 United Kingdom200,000[13]
 Saudi Arabia80,000[15]
 South Africa2,100
 Ivory Coast1,800
Arabic (Moroccan Arabic, Jebli Arabic, Judeo-Moroccan Arabic, Hassaniya Arabic), Berber (Tashlhit, Tarifit, Central Atlas Tamazight, Judeo-Berber, Standard Moroccan Berber), Haketia, French, Spanish, Hebrew
Predominantly Islam (Sunni, Nondenominational Islam,[21] Sufi); minority Judaism, Christianity[22][23]
Related ethnic groups
Other Maghrebis

The Moroccan diaspora consists of emigrants from Morocco and their descendants. Of the estimated 10 million Moroccans living abroad, the overwhelming majority live in Europe; the remainder are distributed throughout the Americas (including North America and Latin America), Australia, Africa (in particular West Africa), and the countries of the Arab World.


Europe has long been a destination for Moroccan migration, with Moroccans arriving in some countries at least as early as the twentieth century. The largest concentration of Moroccans outside Morocco is in France, which has reportedly over 1.9 million Moroccans (up to 4 millions), and the Netherlands and Belgium (about 0.7 million Moroccans). In the Netherlands, Moroccans are the third largest group of non-western immigrants after people from the former Dutch colonies of Suriname and Indonesia and the Turks. In Belgium, Moroccans now form even the largest group of non-western immigrants.[24] At about 4% of Belgium's population, the Moroccan population in Belgium is the highest percentagewise in Europe[25].

There are also large Moroccan communities in Spain (about 767,784 Moroccans), Italy, Sweden and Switzerland. Many Moroccans have also settled for quite a long time in the United States, Canada, Brazil and other Arab countries, most notably Libya. Some other Moroccans have immigrated to other parts of Africa where they have prospered financially.

The majority of the Moroccan diaspora are Muslims, with a sizeable minority of Jews and Christians. The vast majority of Moroccan Jews are now living in Israel.

The Moroccan diaspora is historically composed of guest workers. Because of the economic opportunities, many Moroccans have worked in the Arab World, most notably in Arab states of the Persian Gulf like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait among others.

Author of the newly released book Moroccans abroad. Identity and cultural diversity, Professor Bekouchi looks at the five million Moroccans living in the four corners of the globe, of whom 300,000 represent the elite. For him, if these Moroccans abroad could be listened to and motivated by the Moroccan policy makers, they could create wonders. “They already exert some influence on negotiation strategies and on the partnership between Morocco and their adopted country”, highlights the author. This goes back to the history of the emigration of Moroccans to Europe and elsewhere. He recalls that it was at the beginning of the last century that the first Moroccan mass emigrations began. The toughest and most obedient natives were chosen to engage in World War I or to fill in for French farmers and laborers detained on the front line. Yet, the veterans have been too little compensated. Today still, they earn barely a fifth of that of their French counterparts.

At the start of the 1960s, crews were sent by European employers to hire the most docile rural labor. The departures led to painful separations and psychological effects in the families remaining in Morocco and those in the host countries. Until the start of the 1970s, many contingents left for France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. 90% of migrants were rural men, with little education and no professional qualifications, recalls Bekouchi.

And from March 26, 1996, without a visa entry to European Union countries was prohibited for Moroccans and other Maghrebis. The result was the start of illegal immigration. Thus Bekouchi comes back to the problem of illegal immigration and its dramatic consequences. Thus, tens of thousands of “harragas” died a sea or on the road. The book contains the figures on the extent of the diaspora. More than 83% of the total ended up in Europe, and one in two lives in France, totalling 1.3 million Moroccans. Regarding more recent immigration, the Moroccan community in Spain comes in second with its 800,000 members, followed by Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. The author discusses the problem of trafficking Moroccan women in Arabic countries. For the most part, they practice prostitution via pseudo-contracts of employment. Bekouchi takes an interest in the Jewish diaspora the first great waves of which emigration began with the declaration of the Israeli state in 1948. Another very strong period was during the 1967 war. They are scattered between Israel, the United States, Canada, France, Belgium and Latin America.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Répartition des étrangers par nationalité". INSEE. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
  2. ^ "Être né en France d'un parent immigré". INSEE. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
  3. ^ Fiches thématiques - Population immigrée - Immigrés - Insee Références - Édition 2012, Insee 2012
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Italie : Avec 524 775 membres, les marocains sont la première communauté étrangère hors UE". Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  6. ^ "90 secondes pour comprendre pourquoi beaucoup de Marocains sont venus s'installer en Belgique dès 1964". Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  7. ^ "Statistical Abstract of Israel 2009 - No. 60 Subject 2 - Table NO.24". Israeli government. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
  8. ^ "CBS StatLine - Bevolking; generatie, geslacht, leeftijd en herkomstgroepering, 1 januari". Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  9. ^ "L'Allemagne veut attirer 40.000 Marocains par an". Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  10. ^ Bureau, U.S. Census. "American FactFinder - Results". Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  11. ^ Canada, Government of Canada, Statistics. "2011 National Household Survey: Data tables – Ethnic Origin (264), Single and Multiple Ethnic Origin Responses (3), Generation Status (4), Age Groups (10) and Sex (3) for the Population in Private Households of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2011 National Household Survey". Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ [1][dead link]
  14. ^ a b c d e "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 7 January 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Chômage en Arabie Saoudite : Les MRE irréguliers sous menace d'expulsion". Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  16. ^ "Libye: Des milliers de Marocains sur une poudrière en Libye" [Libya: Thousands of Moroccans on a powder keg in Libya] (in French). 24 July 2015. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  17. ^ Snoj, Jure (7 December 2014). "Population of Qatar by nationality". bq magazine. Archived from the original on 20 October 2016. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  19. ^ "Foreign-born persons by country of birth, age, sex and year". Statistics Sweden. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  20. ^ "Innvandrere og norskfødte med innvandrerforeldre". Statistics Norway (in Norwegian).
  21. ^ "Chapter 1: Religious Affiliation". The World's Muslims: Unity and Diversity. Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  22. ^ Morocco: General situation of Muslims who converted to Christianity, and specifically those who converted to Catholicism; their treatment by Islamists and the authorities, including state protection (2008–2011). Retrieved on 12 June 2016.
  23. ^ Erwin Fahlbusch (2003). The Encyclopedia of Christianity. 3. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. pp. 653–. ISBN 978-0-8028-2415-8.
  24. ^ "'Voor het eerst meer Marokkaanse dan Italiaanse migranten'". Het Belang Van Limburg. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  25. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in French) [2], Centre de recherche en démographie et sociétés de l'Université catholique de Louvain. Dernière consultation le 11 octobre 2015.

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