2004 and 2005 annual census surveys- Close to 5 million immigrants at mid-2004
At mid-2004, 4.9 million immigrants were living in Metropolitan France, representing 8.1% of the total population. There were more immigrants of African and Asian origin in the country at that time than there had been in 1999; it was the reverse situation for those immigrants arriving on the old migratory routes from Spain and Italy. Within the immigrant population, there were as many men as there were women: whereas before 1974 immigration was predominantly male with the migration of the labour force, after 1974 it became predominantly female, with women migrating to rejoin their families abroad. The immigrant population did not age between 1999 and 2004-2005 due to the new arrivals of immigrants, unlike the non-immigrant population. The immigrant population's level of education and training has markedly increased, as is the case for the whole population. In particular, four times more immigrants now hold a higher education diploma than in 1982. Four in ten immigrants live in Île-de-France, one in ten in Rhône-Alpes and one in ten in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.