The geographical location of immigrants – A high concentration in the Paris urban area
On 1st January 2012, France had 65.2 million inhabitants, including 5.7 million immigrants. The immigrant population was more concentrated over the territory than the non-immigrant population. Eight out of ten immigrants lived in major urban centres, compared with six non-immigrants in ten. Specifically, 38% of immigrants (2.2 million people) lived in the Paris urban area, where 17% of non-immigrants (10.2 million people) also resided. Immigrants were however less present than non-immigrants in areas with little or very little population. The distribution of the immigrant population over the territory was the result of several waves of immigration, particularly towards southwest France and urban and industrialised areas in the 1960s; however, this varies according to the country of birth. The geographic concentration of immigrant populations has changed little over the years. Indeed, immigrants arriving in France less than five years ago settled in places where those who had arrived long ago were already living.