RIGHT WRONG. Does France really attract too many immigrants?

Immigration goes hand in hand in the plural: economic, family, humanitarian … “The public debate on immigration is dominated by questions of identity and security, and when the economic angle is addressed, only the short-term aspects in terms of employment and public finances are mentioned”, explain the authors of the note, economists Emmanuelle Auriol and Hillel Rapoport.

Immigration in France is more important than elsewhere

FAUX. In 2019, 292,000 immigrants arrived in France as measured by the OECD, i.e. 0.41% of the French population. Against 0.85% on average in other European countries. The number of people residing in France and born abroad amounts to 8.4 million, or 12.8% of the population. In the United States, it is 13.6%, 16.1% in Germany and 21% in Canada.

She is less qualified

TRUE. “In 2020, 37.8% of immigrants had an educational level equal to or below the college certificate, against 18.9% among natives”, according to INSEE. Since the end of the immigration of salaried work decided by the State in 1974, most of the entries come from family reunification. The first reason when issuing a first residence permit is therefore family, then student, then economic.

Immigration to France is very diverse

FAUX. “70% of non-European immigrants residing in France were born in Africa (including nearly two-thirds in Maghreb) », specifies the note of the ACE. In France, new arrivals tend to “Concentrate in large metropolises”. 80% of immigrants live in urban centers, against 60% for the French.

France welcomes many qualified immigrants

FAUX. And that’s a problem, according to Emmanuelle Auriol and Hillel Rapoport, authors of the CAE report.France is lagging behind in the race for talent”. Despite some recent developments in favor of so-called “economic” immigration, labor immigration remains marginal.

Between 2000 and 2010, the contribution of immigrants to the increase in the stock of highly qualified workers was only 3.5% in France against 10% in Canada. Moreover, France is only nineteenth in the world ranking of Insead which measures the capacity of a country to attract, produce and retain talent. And international students are less likely to stay in France after their studies.

Immigration is good for economic activity

True and false. In the short term, the studies relayed by the authors find either positive or negative effects. Corn “They agree on the fact that these effects are concentrated on the least qualified workers, very localized”.

But in the long term, according to an American study “By increasing the workforce and its diversity, immigrants make a positive contribution to the economy. “ They innovate more than the natives.

Immigrants are more daring to undertake

TRUE. “Studies show that immigrants are not ordinary people. They are characterized by their ability to take risks, seize economic opportunities and invest in new production methods ”, observe Emmanuelle Auriol and Hillel Rapoport. Clearly, they have essential qualities to create businesses and innovate.

The examples are legion: Elon Musk from South Africa, entrepreneur in the United States, Octave Klaba born in Poland and boss of OVH in France or even Ugur Sahin, who arrived in Germany from Turkey at the age of four, and Özlem Türeci, the daughter of a Turkish doctor who immigrated to Germany who founded BioNtech. The Pfizer group is led by a Greek: Albert Bourla. According to economists, “These individuals have above average observable (education, health) and non-observable (but measurable in the laboratory: motivation, risk appetite) characteristics. “


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