Immigrants' location in France

Matthieu Solignac, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

The 2005 civil unrest in France has led to a lengthy discussion about the concentration of immigrants and their descendants in poor housing projects and deprived suburbs. Achieving social and ethnic mixity was yet set out as a principle of public policy. While the control of immigrants' internal mobility is already used or planed in some countries (Héran 2007), the development of the European common market has led to facilitate internal mobility at the continental scale. Moreover some studies underline the potential individual and collective benefits of immigrants' higher propensity to move in their host country (Borjas 2001). Thus the location of immigrants may appear as a means rather than a goal. However both can be distorted by discriminations. Maps regularly drawn to show the geographical distribution of immigrants in France suggest their specific location (Safi 2007). They give a broad view of the distribution of immigrants at a national level but few information about its dynamics at a micro level. Indeed such cross sectional approaches ignore individual trajectories whereas similar patterns at a macro level can be lead by very different growth flows or composition effects (white flight or avoidance, local ethic network, population turn-over...). And those micro level dynamics determine the situation of areas and immigrants in France. Using data from censuses and civil-registration records, the INSEE's Permanent Demographic Sample (EDP) gives the opportunity to study 900 000 trajectories of people who reside or have resided in metropolitan France since 1968. This panel data is representative at any given moment in time and gives the rare opportunity to analyze in France the situation of a very high number of immigrants. In the perspective of future migrations driven, for example, by climate change, the spatial dimension of immigration in the receiving country deserves to be study.

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Presented in Poster Session 2