Demographics of France: Wikis


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With a total fertility rate of 2.02 (in 2008),[1] France is the most fertile country in the European Union.
Population density in the French Republic at the 1999 census. All territories are shown at the same geographic scale.

This article is about the demographic features of the population of France, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects.

As of January 1, 2010, 65,447,374 people live in the French Republic.[2] 62,793,432 of these live in metropolitan France,[3] whereas 2,653,942 live in the French overseas departments and territories.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, France's population was low compared to its neighbours, and due to its past history. However, the country's population sharply increased with the baby boom following World War II. During the Trente Glorieuses (1945-1974), the country's reconstruction and steady economic growth led to the labor-immigration of the 1960s, when many employers found manpower in villages located in Southern Europe and in the Maghreb (or North Africa). French law facilitated the immigration of thousands of colons, ethnic or national French from former colonies of North and West Africa, India and Indochina, to mainland France. 1.6 million European pieds noirs migrated from Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.[4] In the 1970s, over 30,000 French colons left Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge regime as the Pol Pot government confiscated their farms and land properties. However, after the 1973 energy crisis, laws limiting immigration were passed. In addition, the country's birth rate dropped significantly during this time.

Since the 1980s, France has ceased being a country of mass immigration. Meanwhile, the national birth rate, after continuing to drop for a time, began to rebound in the 1990s and currently the country's fertility rate is close to the replacement level. In recent years, immigrants have accounted for one quarter of the population growth - a lower proportion than in most other European countries. According to an INSEE 2006 study, "The natural increase is close to 300,000 persons, a level that has not been reached in more than thirty years. Net migration is estimated at 93,600 persons, slightly more than in 2005." [1]


Historical population of metropolitan France

Please note:

  • figures are for metropolitan France only, excluding overseas departments and territories, as well as former French colonies and protectorates. Algeria and its départements, although they were an integral part of metropolitan France until 1962, are not included in the figures.
  • to make comparisons easier, figures provided below are for the territory of metropolitan France within the borders of 2004. This was the real territory of France from 1860 to 1871, and again since 1919. Figures before 1860 have been adjusted to include Savoie and Nice, which only became part of France in 1860. Figures between 1795 and 1815 do not include the French départements in modern day Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy, although they were an integral part of France during that period. Figures between 1871 and 1919 have been adjusted to include Alsace and part of Lorraine, which both were at the time part of the German Empire.
  • figures before 1801 are modern estimates; figures from 1801 (included) onwards are based on the official French censuses.
Year Population Year Population Year Population
50 BC 2,500,000 1806 29,648,000 1896 40,158,000
1 5,500,000 1811 30,271,000 1901 40,681,000
120 7,200,000 1816 30,573,000 1906 41,067,000
400 5,500,000 1821 31,578,000 1911 41,415,000
850 7,000,000 1826 32,665,000 1921 39,108,000
1226 16,000,000 1831 33,595,000 1926 40,581,000
1345 20,200,000 1836 34,293,000 1931 41,524,000
1400 16,600,000 1841 34,912,000 1936 41,502,000
1457 19,700,000 1846 36,097,000 1946 40,506,639
1580 20,000,000 1851 36,472,000 1954 42,777,162
1594 18,500,000 1856 36,715,000 1962 46,519,997
1600 20,000,000 1861 37,386,000 1968 49,780,543
1670 18,000,000 1866 38,067,000 1975 52,655,864
1700 21,000,000 1872 37,653,000 1982 54,334,871
1715 19,200,000 1876 38,438,000 1990 56,615,155
1740 24,600,000 1881 39,239,000 1999 58,518,395
1792 28,000,000 1886 39,783,000 2006 61,399,719
1801 29,361,000 1891 39,946,000 2010 62,793,432 (*)[3]

(*) Note:

Historical overview

1800 to 20th century

Starting around 1800, the historical evolution of the population in France has been extremely atypical in the Western World. Unlike the rest of Europe, France did not experience a strong population growth in the 19th century and first half of the 20th century. The birth rate in France diminished much earlier than in the rest of Europe. Consequently, population growth was quite slow in the 19th century, and the nadir was reached in the first half of the 20th century when France, surrounded by the rapidly growing populations of Germany and the United Kingdom, experienced virtually zero growth. This, and the bloody losses in France's population due to the First World War, may explain the sudden collapse of France in 1940 during the Second World War. France was often perceived as a country facing irrecoverable decline. At the time, racist theories were quite popular, and the dramatic demographic decline of France was often attributed (particularly in Nazi Germany, and also in some conservative circles in England and elsewhere) to the genetic characteristics of the "French race", a race destined to fail in the face of the Germanic and Anglo-Saxon "races". In addition, the slow growth of France's population in the 19th century was reflected in the country's very low emigration rate. While millions of people from all other parts of Europe moved to the Americas, few French did so. Most people in the United States of French extraction are descended from immigrants from French Canada, whose population was rapidly growing at this time.

Two centuries of population growth

To understand the demographic decline of France, it should be noted that France was historically the largest nation of Europe. During the 17th century one fifth of Europe’s population was French (and more than one quarter during the Middle Ages). Between 1815 and 2000, if the population of France had grown at the same rate as the population of Germany during the same time period, France's population would be 110 million today -- and this does not take into account the fact that a large chunk of Germany's population growth was siphoned off by emigration to the Americas. If France's population had grown at the same rate as England and Wales (whose rate was also siphoned off by emigration to the Americas, Australia and New Zealand), France's population could be anywhere up to 150 million today. And if we start the comparison at the time of King Louis XIV (the Sun King), then France would in fact have the same population as the United States. While France had been very powerful in Europe at the time of Louis XIV or Napoleon, the demographic decline the country experienced after 1800 helped it to lose this advantage.

After World War II

After 1947 however, France suddenly underwent a demographic recovery. In the 1930s the French government, alarmed by the decline of France's population, had passed laws to boost the birth rate, giving state benefits to families with children. Nonetheless, no one can quite satisfactorily explain this sudden and unexpected recovery in the demography of France, which was often portrayed as a "miracle" inside France. This demographic recovery was again atypical in the Western World, in the sense that although the rest of the Western World experienced a baby boom immediately after the war, the baby boom in France was much stronger, and above all it lasted longer than in most other countries of the Western World (the United States being one of the few exceptions). In the 1950s and 1960s France enjoyed a population growth of 1% a year, which is the highest growth in the history of France, not even matched in the best periods of the 18th or 19th centuries.

Since 1975, France's population growth rate has significantly diminished, but it still remains slightly faster than that of the rest of Europe, and much faster than it was at the end of the 19th century and during the first half of the 20th century. In the first decade of the third millennium, population growth in France is the fastest of Europe, matched only by Ireland and the Netherlands. However, it is significantly slower than that of the United States, whose population trends have diverged from those of Europe since the 1970s.

The ranking below will help understand the past, present, and future weight of France's population in Europe and in the world:
(historical populations are counted in the 2004 borders)

  • until 1795 metropolitan France was the most populous country of Europe, above even Russia, and the third most populous country in the world, behind only China and India
  • between 1795 and 1866, metropolitan France was the second most populous country of Europe, behind Russia, and the fourth most populous country in the world, behind China, India, and Russia
  • between 1866 and 1911, metropolitan France was the third most populous country of Europe, behind Russia and Germany
  • between 1911 and 1931, metropolitan France was the fourth most populous country of Europe, behind Russia, Germany, and the United Kingdom
  • between 1931 and 1991, metropolitan France was the fifth most populous country of Europe, behind Russia, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Italy
  • between 1991 and 2000, metropolitan France recovered its rank as the fourth most populous country of Europe, behind Russia, Germany, and the United Kingdom
  • since 2000, metropolitan France has recovered its rank as the third most populous country of Europe, behind Russia and Germany. Worldwide, France's ranking has fallen to twentieth most populous country.
  • if current demographic trends continue (i.e. declining population in Germany, and slightly rising population in France), around 2050 metropolitan France could become again the second most populous country of Europe behind Russia.

Note that in above data, Turkey is not regarded as a European country.


Before World War II

In the twentieth century, France experienced a high rate of immigration from other countries. The immigration rate was particularly high during the 1920s and 1930s. France was the European country which suffered the most from World War I, with respect to the size of its population, losing 1.4 million young men out of a total population of 40 million. France was also at the time the European country with the lowest fertility rate, which meant that the country had a very hard time recovering from the heavy losses of the war. France had to open its doors to immigration, which was the only way to prevent population decline between the two world wars.

At the time France was the only European country to permit mass immigration. The other major European powers, such as the UK or Germany, still had high fertility rates, so immigration was seen as unnecessary while it was also undesirable to the vast majority of their populations. Armenians immigrated to France after the Armenian Genocide of 1915.[citation needed] The majority of immigrants in the 1920s and 1930s came from southern Europe: Greeks, Italians, Yugoslavs, Portuguese and Spaniards, but also Eastern Europeans: Poles, Russians, Hungarians and Czechoslovaks; and Belgians (nationality, but composed of both French and Fleming-Dutch elements) and the first wave of colonial French subjects from Africa and Asia. By the end of the Spanish Civil War, some half-million Spanish Republican refugees had crossed the border into France.[5] At this time, Judaism was the second most populous religion in France, as it had been for centuries. However, this would soon change .

Local populations often opposed immigrant manpower, leading to occasional outbursts of violence. The most violent of these was a pogrom against Italian workers who worked in the salt evaporation ponds of Peccais erupted in Aigues-Mortes in 1893, killing nine and injuring hundreds on the Italian side.[6]

After World War II

Black Head, collage by Ph Derome, 1971, Paris. A rare example of black people representation in contemporary visual art

After World War II, the French fertility rate rebounded considerably, as noted above, but economic growth in France was so high that new immigrants had to be brought into the country. This time the majority of immigrants were Portuguese as well as Arabs and Berbers from North Africa. The first wave arrived in the 1950s, but the major arrivals happened in the 1960s and 1970s. More than one million people from the Maghreb immigrated in the 1960s and early 1970s from North Africa, especially Algeria (following the end of French rule there)[citation needed]. One million European pieds noirs also migrated from Algeria in 1962 and the following years, due to the chaotic independence of Algeria.[7] This is a focal point of the current turbulent relationship of France and over three million French of Algerian descent, a small percentage of whom are third-or fourth-generation French.

Between 1956 and 1967, about 235.000 North African jews from Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco also immigrated to France due to the decline of the French empire and following the Six-Day War. Hence, by 1968, North African Jews were the majority of the Jews in France. As these new immigrants were already culturally French they needed little time to adjust to French society[8].

In the late 1970s, due to the end of high economic growth in France, immigration policies were considerably tightened, starting with the Pasqua laws passed in the late 1980s. New immigrants were allowed only through the family reunion schemes (wives and children moving to France to live with their husband or father already living in France), or as political asylum seekers. Illegal immigration thus developed. Nonetheless, immigration rates in the 1980s and 1990s were much lower than in the 1960s and 1970s, especially compared to other European countries. The regions of emigrations also widened, with new immigrants now coming from sub-saharan Africa and Asia. And in the 1970s, a small but well publicized wave of Chilean and Argentine political refugees (see Chilean coup of 1973) found asylum in France.

Ethnic Vietnamese started to become a visible segment of society after the massive influx of refugees after the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. The expulsions of ethnic Chinese from Vietnam in the 1970s led to a wave of immigration and the settlement of the high-rise neighbourhood near the Porte d'Italie, where the Chinatown of Paris is located. Located in the 13th arrondissement, the area contains many ethnic Chinese inhabitants.[9]

The large-scale immigration from Islamic countries sparked controversy in France. Nevertherless, according to Justin Vaïsse, in spite of obstacles and spectacular failures like the riots in November 2005, the integration of Muslim immigrants is happening as part of a background evolution [10] and recent studies confirmed the results of their assimilation, showing that "North Africans seem to be characterized by a high degree of cultural integration reflected in a relatively high propensity to exogamy" with rates ranging from 20% to 50%[11]. According to Emmanuel Todd the relatively high exogamy among French Algerians can be explained by the colonial link between France and Algeria[12][13].



French residency by country of nationality 1999.PNG

As of 2006, the French national institute of statistics INSEE estimated that 4.9 million foreign-born immigrants live in France (8% of the country's population)[14]: The number of French citizens with foreign origins is generally thought to be around 6.7 million[15] according to the 1999 Census conducted by INSEE, which ultimately represents one tenth of the country's population. (Ranked by the largest national groups, above 60,000 persons).

Most of the population from immigrant stock is of European descent (mainly from Italy, Spain, and Portugal as well as Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, and the former Yugoslavia) although France has a sizeable population of Arabs, Berbers and Africans from its former colonies, the proportion of immigrants in France is on par with other European nations such as the United Kingdom (8%)[16], Germany (9%)[17], the Netherlands (18%)[18], Sweden (13%)[19] and Switzerland (19%)[20]. Outside of Europe and North Africa, the highest rate of immigration is from Vietnam, Cambodia and Senegal.

According to Michèle Tribalat, researcher at INED, it is very difficult to estimate the number of French immigrants or born to immigrants, because of the absence of official statistics. Only three surveys have been conducted: in 1927, 1942, and 1986 respectively. According to a 2004 study, there were approximately 14 million persons of foreign ancestry, defined as either immigrants or people with at least one parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent emigré. 5.2 million of these people were from South-European ascendency (Italy, Spain, Portugal and former Yugoslavia); and 3 million come from the Maghreb (North Africa).[21] Immigrants from the Maghreb are commonly referred to as beur, a verlan slang term derived from the word arabe (French for Arab).[22]

In 2004, a total of 140,033 people immigrated to France. Of them, 90,250 were from Africa and 13,710 from Europe.[23] In 2005, immigration level fell slightly to 135,890.[24] The European Union allows free movement between the member states. While the UK (along with Ireland and Sweden ) did not impose restrictions, France put in place controls to curb Eastern European migration.

In the 2000s, the net migration rate was estimated to be 0.66 migrants per 1,000 population a year.[25] This is a very low rate of immigration compared to other European countries, the USA or Canada. Since the beginning of the 1990s, France has been attempting to curb immigration, first with the Pasqua laws, followed by both right-wing and socialist-issued laws. The immigration rate is currently lower than in other European countries such as United Kingdom and Spain; however, some say it is doubtful that the policies in themselves account for such a change. Again, as in the 1920s and 1930s, France stands in contrast with the rest of Europe. Back in the 1920s and 1930s, when European countries had a high fertility rate, France had a low fertility rate and had to open its doors to immigration to avoid population decline. Today, it is the rest of Europe that has very low fertility rates, and countries like Germany or Spain avoid population decline only through immigration. In France, however, fertility rate is still fairly high for European standards, in fact the highest in Europe after Ireland (the E.U.) and Albania (perhaps higher than Ireland's), and so most population growth is due to natural increase, unlike in the other European countries.

This difference in immigration trends is also because the labor market in France is currently less dynamic than in other countries such as the UK, Ireland or Spain, this may even be a more relevant factor than low birth rates (because Ireland has both the highest fertility and the highest net immigration rate in Europe, whereas Eastern European countries such as Russia, Poland, Hungary and the Ukraine have both a low fertility and a high net emigration rate, as well as a high unemployment rate).

For example, according to the UK Office for National Statistics, in the three years between July 2001 and July 2004 the population of the UK increased by 721,500 inhabitants, of which 242,800 (34%) was due to natural increase, and 478,500 (66%) to immigration.[26] According to the INSEE, in the three years between January 2001 and January 2004 the population of Metropolitan France increased by 1,057,000 inhabitants, of which 678,000 (64%) was due to natural increase, and 379,500 (36%) to immigration.[27]

The latest 2008 demographic statistics have been released, and France's birth and fertility rates have continued to rise. The fertility rate increased to 2.02 in 2008[1] and for the first time approaches the fertility rate of the United States.


France has not collected religious or ethnic data in its censuses since the beginning of the Third Republic, but the country's predominant faith has been Roman Catholicism since the early Middle Ages. Church attendance is fairly low, however, and the proportion of the population that is not religious has grown over the past century. A 2004 IFOP survey tallied that 44% of the French people do not believe in God; contrast with 20% in 1947 [2]. A study by the CSA Institute conducted in 2003 with a sample of 18,000 people found that 27% consider themselves atheists, and 65.3% Roman Catholic compared to 67% in 2001[citation needed]. Furthermore 12.7% (8,065,000 people) belonged to some other religion.

There are an estimated 5 million Muslims[28], 1 million Protestants, 491,000 Jews[29], 600,000 Buddhists, and 150,000 Orthodox Christians as of 2000 figures[citation needed]. The last figure does not appear to include high numbers of Apostolic Armenians present in the country's two main conurbations. The US State Department's International Religious Freedom Report 2004 .[3] estimated the French Hindu population at 181,312.

These studies did not ask the respondants if they were practicing or how often they did practice if they were active in the laity.


France is said to be experiencing a new baby boom due to the rise in fertility rate and in births.

The total fertility rates (TFR) for metropolitan France yearwise is given below. (Sources: [4], [5], and [6])

Year Births TFR Year Births TFR
1960 819,951 2.74 1995 729,609 1.71
1964 877,800 2.91 1996 734,338 1.73
1970 850,381 2.48 1997 726,768 1.73
1971 881,284 2.50 1998 738,080 1.76
1972 877,506 2.42 1999 744,791 1.79
1973 857,186 2.31 2000 774,782 1.87
1974 801,218 2.11 2001 770,945 1.88
1975 745,065 1.93 2002 761,630 1.86
1980 800,376 1.95 2003 761,464 1.87
1985 768,431 1.81 2004 767,816 1.90
1990 762,407 1.78 2005 774,355 1.92
1991 759,100 1.77 2006 796,896 1.98
1992 743,658 1.73 2007 785,985 1.96
1993 711,610 1.66 2008 801,000 2.00
1994 710,993 1.66
Year Births TFR Year Births TFR

The table below gives the average number of children according to the place of birth of women. An immigrant woman is a woman who was born outside of France and who did not have French citizenship at birth. Source - French-Wikipedia

Average number of children in France
Average number of children in country of origin
All women living in metropolitan France 1.74
Women born in Metropolitan France 1.70
Immigrant women 2.16
Women born in overseas France 1.86
Immigrant women (country of birth)
Spain 1.52 1.23
Italy 1.60 1.24
Portugal 1.96 1.49
Other EU 1.66 1.44
Turkey 3.21 1.92
Other Europe 1.68 1.41
Algeria 2.57 3.64
Morocco 2.97 3.28
Tunisia 2.90 2.73
Other Africa 2.86 5.89
Asia (Mostly China) 1.77 2.85
The Americas and Oceania 2.00 2.54



definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)[citation needed]

CIA World Factbook demographic statistics

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.


total: 63,713,926
note: 60,876,136 in metropolitan France (July 2007 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 18.6% (male 6,063,181/female 5,850,272)
15-64 years: 65.2% (male 20,798,889/female 20,763,283)
65 years and over: 16.2% (male 4,274,290/female 6,750,011) (2007 est.)

Median age

total: 39 years
male: 37.5 years
female: 40.4 years (2007 est.)

Population Growth Rate

0.525% (2010 est.)

Birth rate

12.91 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Death rate

8.97 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate

1.52 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.002 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.708 male(s)/female
total population: 0.956 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 3.41 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.76 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.04 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 80.59 years
male: 77.5 years (2007 est.)[31]
female: 84.4 years (2007 est.)[31]

Total fertility rate

2.02 (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.7% (2007 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

150,000 (2007 est.)


plural noun: Frenchmen (for males) and Frenchwomen (for females) adjective: French

Ethnic groups

The modern ethnic French are the descendants of Celts, Iberians, Ligurians and Greeks in southern France,[32][33] mixed with Germanic peoples arriving at the end of the Roman Empire such as the Franks and the Burgundians, some Moors and Saracens[34][35][36][37][38][39][40], and some Vikings who mixed with the Normans and settled mostly in Normandy in the 9th century.[41][42]

It is illegal for the French state to collect data on ethnicity and race, a law with its origins in the 1789 revolution and reaffirmed in the constitution of 1958.[43] Some organisations, such as the Representative Council of Black Associations (French: Conseil représentatif des associations noires de France, CRAN), have argued in favour of the introduction of data collection on minority groups but this has been resisted by other organisations and ruling politicians,[44][45] often on the grounds that collecting such statistics goes against France's secular principles and harks back to Vichy-era identity documents.[46] During the 2007 presidential election, however, Nicolas Sarkozy was polled on the issue and stated that he favoured the collection of data on ethnicity.[47] Part of a parliamentary bill which would have permitted the collection of data for the purpose of measuring discrimination was rejected by the Conseil Constitutionnel in November 2007.[43]

An estimated thirteen million French citizens, or about one-fifth of the population, are of ethnic or national non-French origins. Of European ethnic groups, the most numerous are people of Italian family origin and it is estimated that about 5 million French Nationals (8% of the population in France) are of Italian origine if their parentage is retraced over three generations. [7] This is due to waves of Italian immigration, notably during the late 19th and early 20th century. Other large European groups of non-native origin are Spaniards, Portuguese, Polish, and Greeks. Also, due to more recent immigration, a total of five million Arab-Berber people and approximately 500,000 Turks inhabit France.[citation needed] An influx of North African Jews immigrated to France in the 1950's and after the Algerian War due to the decline of the French empire. Subsequent waves of immigration followed the Six-Day War, when some Moroccan and Tunisian Jews settled in France. Hence, by 1968, North African Jews were about 500.000 and the majority in France. As these new immigrants were already culturally French they needed little time to adjust to French society. Black people (3% of the population) come from both the French overseas territories and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Although it is illegal in France for a census to be taken on race or religion, Solis, a marketing company, estimated recently the numbers for Ethnic minorities in France as follows[48] :

  • 3.264M North African (5.23%)
  • 1.080M Sub-Saharan African (1.73%)
  • 491,000 Jews (Less than 1%, mostly of North African origin)
  • 441,000 Turkish (0.71%)
  • 757,000 French overseas départements and territories (1.21%)


Note they are estimates in the 2001 French Census, since the French government forbids collective data of individuals' religious faith.

Roman Catholic 49 %, unaffiliated (Theist, Agnostic or Atheist) 31%, Muslim 7.5%, Protestant (Calvinist, Lutheran, Anglican and Evangelical) 3%, Jewish 4% - the largest post-WWII European Jewish community, Eastern Orthodox (Greek and Armenian) 1%, Eastern religions (Hindu and Buddhist) 1% introduced to France, and pagan 1%- rapid growth of Neo-Pagan religions of Celtic rites[49]

Overseas departments and territories: Roman Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, pagan and atheist.


French is the only official language of France, and is constitutionally required to be overwhelmingly the language of government and administration. There is a rising cultural awareness of the regional languages of France, which enjoy no official status. These regional languages include the Langue d'oïl, Langue d'oc, romance languages other than French, and Germanic languages. Immigrant groups from former French colonies and elsewhere have also brought their own languages.


  1. ^ a b c d INSEE, Government of France. "Bilan démographique 2008". Retrieved 2009-01-13.  (French)
  2. ^ a b INSEE, Government of France. "Bilan démographique 2009". Retrieved 2010-01-19.  (French)
  3. ^ a b INSEE, Government of France. "Population totale par sexe et âge au 1er janvier 2010, France métropolitaine". Retrieved 2010-01-19.  (French)
  4. ^ For Pieds-Noirs, the Anger Endures
  5. ^ Spanish Civil War fighters look back, BBC News, February 23, 2003
  6. ^ Enzo Barnabà, Le sang des marais, Marseille, 1993
  7. ^ On French immigrants, the words left unsaid
  8. ^ Esther Benbassa, The Jews of France: A History from Antiquity to the Present, Princeton University Press, 1999
  9. ^ Smith, Craig S. Face behind Paris 'bistro' counter becomes Asian. International Herald Tribune, 10 May 2005.
  10. ^ Unrest in France, November 2005 : immigration, islam and the challenge of integration, Justin Vaïsse, Presentation to Congressional Staff, January 10 and 12, 2006, Washington, DC
  11. ^ "Compared with the Europeans, the Tunisians belong to a much more recent wave of migration and occupy a much less favourable socioeconomic position, yet their pattern of marriage behaviour is nonetheless similar (...). Algerian and Moroccan immigrants have a higher propensity to exogamy than Asians or Portuguese but a much weaker labour market position. (...) Confirming the results from other analyses of immigrant assimilation in France, this study shows that North Africans seem to be characterized by a high degree of cultural integration (reflected in a relatively high propensity to exogamy, notably for Tunisians) that contrasts with a persistent disadvantage in the labour market.", Intermarriage and assimilation: disparities in levels of exogamy among immigrants in France, Mirna Safi, Volume 63 2008/2
  12. ^ Emmanuel Todd, Le destin des immigrés: assimilation et ségrégation dans les démocraties occidentales, Paris, 1994, p.307
  13. ^ Many famous French people, including Edith Piaf, Zinedine Zidane, Isabelle Adjani, Alain Bashung, Claude Zidi, Arnaud Montebourg, Catherine Belkhodja, Jacques Villeret and Dany Boon, are partly of Algerian descent.
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ Michèle Tribalat's 2004 study for the INED
  22. ^ Valdman, Albert (2000-05). "La Langue des faubourgs et des banlieues: de l'argot au français populaire". The French Review (American Association of Teachers of French) 73 (6): 1188. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  23. ^ Inflow of third-country nationals by country of nationality
  24. ^ Immigration and the 2007 French Presidential Elections
  25. ^
  26. ^ UK Office for National Statistics estimate
  27. ^ INSEE pdf estimates
  28. ^ In 2003, the French Ministry of the Interior estimated the total number of Muslims as 5-6 million whereas the "Front National" spoke about 8 million, in Jonathan Laurence and Justin Vaïsse,Intégrer l'Islam, Odile Jacob, 2007
  29. ^ The Jewish Population of the World
  30. ^ INSEE, Government of France. "Tabc3 - Tableau complémentaire 3 : Taux de fécondité par groupe d'âges". Retrieved 2009-01-13.  (French)
  31. ^ a b INSEE, Bilan démographique 2007 - Mortalité
  32. ^ Éric Gailledrat, Les Ibères de l'Èbre à l'Hérault (VIe-IVe s. avant J.-C.), Lattes, Sociétés de la Protohistoire et de l'Antiquité en France Méditerranéenne, Monographies d'Archéologie Méditerranéenne - 1, 1997
  33. ^ Dominique Garcia: Entre Ibères et Ligures. Lodévois et moyenne vallée de l'Hérault protohistoriques. Paris, CNRS éd., 1993; Les Ibères dans le midi de la France. L'Archéologue, n°32, 1997, pp. 38-40
  34. ^ "Les Gaulois figurent seulement parmi d'autres dans la multitude de couches de peuplement fort divers (Ligures, Ibères, Latins, Francs et Alamans, Nordiques, Sarrasins...) qui aboutissent à la population du pays à un moment donné ", Jean-Louis Brunaux, Nos ancêtres les Gaulois, éd. Seuil, 2008, p. 261
  35. ^ "Notre Midi a sa pinte de sang sarrasin", Fernand Braudel, L'identité de la France - Les Hommes et les Choses (1986), Flammarion, 1990, p. 215
  36. ^ "Les premiers musulmans arrivèrent en France à la suite de l'occupation de l'Espagne par les Maures, il y a plus d'un millénaire, et s'installèrent dans les environs de Toulouse - et jusqu'en Bourgogne. À Narbonne, les traces d'une mosquée datant du VIIIe siècle sont le témoignage de l'ancienneté de ce passé. Lors de la célèbre, et en partie mythologique, bataille de Poitiers en 732, dont les historiens reconsidèrent aujourd'hui l'importance, Charles Martel aurait stoppé la progression des envahisseurs arabes. Des réfugiés musulmans qui fuyaient la Reconquista espagnole, et plus tard l'Inquisition, firent souche en Languedoc-Roussillon et dans le Pays basque français, ainsi que dans le Béarn", Justin Vaïsse, Intégrer l'Islam, Odile Jacob, 2007, pp. 32-33
  37. ^ " Les Sarrasins gardèrent longtemps sur les côtes de la Provence, à la Garde-Freinet, un solide point d'appui et de là purent faire des incursions dans une partie de la France. Au huitième siècle, lors de l'invasion des Berbères dit Arabes, ceux-ci avaient pénétré jusque dans la vallée de la Loire : on parle même de leur venue dans la région orientale de la France, à Luxeuil, dans les Vosges et devant Metz. [...] les observations des anthropologistes ne permettent pas de douter que nombre de familles françaises dans les bassins de la Garonne et du Rhône ne soient issus des envahisseurs musulmans, Berbères modifiés par leur croisement avec les Espagnols, les Arabes et les noirs d'Afrique.", Élisée Reclus, Nouvelle géographie universelle: la terre et les hommes, Élisée Reclus, éd. Hachette, 1881, t. 2, chap. 1-Vue d'ensemble - Le milieu et la race, Ançêtres de Français, p. 45-46
  38. ^ "L'élément sémitique, juif et arabe, était fort en Languedoc. Narbonne avait été longtemps la capitale des Sarrasins en France. (...) Ces nobles du Midi étaient des gens d'esprit qui savaient bien la plupart que penser de leur noblesse. Il n'y en avait guère qui, en remontant un peu, ne rencontrassent dans leur généalogie quelque grand-mère sarrasine ou juive.", Jules Michelet, Histoire de France, éd. Chamerot, 1861, t. 2, p. 335
  39. ^ "Bien que le séjour des Arabes en France n'ait été constitué que par une série de courtes invasions, ils ont laissé des traces profondes de leur passage dans la langue, et [...] ils en ont laissé également dans le sang. [...] L'ethnologie nous en fournit la preuve, en retrouvant, après tant de siècles, des descendants des Arabes sur plusieurs parties de notre sol. Dans le département de la Creuse, dans les Hautes-Alpes, et notamment dans plusieurs localités situées autour de Montmaure (montagne des Maures), dans le canton de Baignes (Charente), de même que dans certains villages des Landes, du Roussillon, du Languedoc, du Béarn, les descendants des Arabes sont facilement reconnaissables.", Gustave Le Bon, La Civilisation des Arabes (1884), La Fontaine au Roy, 1990, p. 237
  40. ^ "Il est certain que, de nos jours, on peut encore trouver en France des descendants des Sarrasins, notamment dans toute la région du sud de la Loire, dans les monts d'Auvergne, en Guyenne, en Languedoc et en Provence, voire même en Bourgogne.", René Martial, La Race française (1934), Mercure de France, 1934, p. 101-102
  41. ^ The normans Jersey heritage trust
  42. ^ Dudo of St. Quentin's Gesta Normannorum, English translation How normans conquered the future Normandy, got established and allied with western Frankish by inter-marriage with Kings Rollo and William
  43. ^ a b Oppenheimer, David B. (2008). "Why France needs to collect data on racial a French way". Hastings International and Comparative Law Review 31 (2): 735–752. 
  44. ^ Louis-Georges, Tin (2008). "Who is afraid of Blacks in France? The Black question: The name taboo, the number taboo". French Politics, Culture & Society 26 (1): 32–44. doi:10.3167/fpcs.2008.260103. 
  45. ^ "Black residents of France say they are discriminated against". International Herald Tribune. 2007-01-31. Retrieved 2009-10-27. 
  46. ^ "France's ethnic minorities: To count or not to count". The Economist 390 (8624): 62. 2009-03-28. 
  47. ^ Chrisafis, Angelique (2007-02-24). "French presidential candidates divided over race census". The Guardian: p. 25. Retrieved 2009-10-27. 
  48. ^ France's crisis of national identity, The Independant, Wednesday, 25 November 2009
  49. ^ As per a CSA Study (Dec 2006)

See also

External links

Simple English

On 1 January 2008, it was estimated that 63.8 million people people live in France, including in the Overseas Regions of France.[1] 61,875,000 of these live in metropolitan France, the part of the country that is within Europe.[1].


About 85% of the people living in France are Roman Catholic, 10% are Muslim.[2]

Ethnic groups

The major ethnic groups living in France today are descended from Celtic people and Roman people.[2] The significant minority groups living in France are:


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Demographic report 2007 - The birth rate remains very high". Government of France - INSEE. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 "Background Note: France". Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Electronic Information and Publications Office > Background Notes - Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. U.S. State Department. August 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 

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