Hervé Le Bras

France, A Land of Emigration? Publication date : March 8, 2007

The views that are commonly held on French emigration and immigration are entirely false. This is what Hervé LeBras shows after a rigorous examination of demographic figures.
Although immigration was high in France from 1945 to 1975, it has since dropped considerably. Yet it is now that the French are under the impression that immigrants are flooding into the country.
Throughout its history, France has not been a land of massive emigration, a fact that can be attributed to its good quality of life. Yet since the 1990s, the annual migratory balance has been as high as 6,000.
The problem for France is that its emigrants tend to be highly qualified young people, while the immigrants who come to France are among the least qualified in all of Europe. The author shows how migratory flows can be explained by the laws of supply and demand, particularly of territorial space both within France and Europe.

Immigration is an issue that haunts French society, eliciting passions that cloud rational thought. The author’s demographic approach, illustrated with detailed maps of migratory movements, allows him to present an entirely new picture of immigration in France. This is a thought-provoking book which opens up many new perspectives.