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Revealed: Where the Indian population lives in France

There are a good number of Indians in France and one department in particular is home to a sizable Indian community. Here's a look at where they live across France.

Revealed: Where the Indian population lives in France
Photo: AFP/ The Local (Indian Sikhs watch a procession in Bobigny, near Paris)

Did you know there are over 19,000 Indian nationals officially living in France?

That is, at least, according the latest stats given to The Local from National Statistics Agency Insee. However one previous study put the figure at 27,700 including some 15,000 who had become naturalized French citizens.

The number of Indians in France could also grow given that French governments have made efforts to attract more Indian students to its universities. Indeed by 2020 the hope among authorities is that as many as 10,000 international students from India had to France each year.

That same study said the Indian population in France and indeed those from other south Asian countries are “among the least known components of France’s social mosaic.”

The Insee figures, compiled in 2014, offer a good insight into where people from India can be found in France. So here’s a closer look, starting with a glance across the country followed by a region-by-region breakdown.

At a glance

There are 19,134 Indians officially registered in France. The top area is The Greater Paris region of Île-de-France, where there are just over 14,000 Indians, 2,200 of whom live in the city of Paris. The top department is Seine-Saint-Denis to the north east of the capital, which is home to just over 5,000 Indian nationals.

And the least popular department?

Well while Indian nationals are present in every department in France there are five which just have a solitary Indian national living there: Haute-Saöne in Bourgogne-Franche-Comte, Vosges in the east, Correze in central France, Cantal in the central Auvergne area and northern Corsica.

But overwhelmingly, France’s Indian population call Greater Paris region of Île-de-France their home. 

All the regions

Île-de-France

This is by far the most popular region for Indians, with 14,100 of France’s 19,000 Indian citizens calling it home (74 percent). This is an outlier compared to all other Anglophone expats. Among the other seven nationalities we looked at an average of 20 percent live in the region of Île-de-France.

Another statistic that separates the Indians from other Anglophones is the likelihood that they live in the suburbs outside of Paris, rather than in Paris itself.

Indeed, only 2,200 Indians live in the city’s 20 arrondissements, or just 16 percent of the total number of Indians in Greater Paris. This compares to 60 percent for Australians and around 40 percent for Brits and Americans. 

Seine-Saint-Denis

The most popular department for Indians is by far Seine-Saint-Denis in the suburbs to the north of Paris. Some 5,002 Indians call it home. The suburb of Bobigny in Seine-Saint-Denis is home to what is considered to be the the biggest temple in France. The images below were taken in Bobigny during celebrations for Vaisakhi, the Sikh New Year Festival.

This is what a study about where Indians and citizens of other south Asian countries are living in France. 

“The spatial implantation of South Asian immigrants is characterized by its extreme geographic concentration on French territory.

“With the exception of a few locations in the provinces (Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Lyon, Toulouse, Marseille), linked to a student presence and the opening of Indo-Pakistani restaurants, the vast majority of South Asians live in Île-de-France (mainly in Seine Saint-Denis and Val d’Oise) or nearby (in the Oise and Eure).

“Neighborhoods with a strong South Asian population have developed, such as La Courneuve, Sarcelles, Dreux and Creil and commercial enclaves, which help to reduce the invisibility of these populations.”

The other departments in Ile de France

Exactly 2,000 Indians live in Val d’Oise, the second-most popular department, followed by 1,400 in Essonne, 1,330 in Hauts-de-Seine, and 1,100 in Val-de-Marne. Another 1,000 Indians are split fairly evenly between Seine-et-Marne and Yvelines. 

(The Ile de France map of Indians in France.)

So while Île-de-France is where most Indians are found, here’s a look at where else in France a much smaller number of them live.

Centre-Val de Loire

Some 255 Indians call this region home, a far cry from the popularity of the Paris suburbs despite its relative proximity. The most popular department is Eure-et-Loire with 94 Indians, and the least popular is Indre with just nine. 

Bourgogne-Franche-Comté

This region is home to just 154 Indian expats, compared to the 3,813 Anglos in the region. Most departments have a few dozen Indians but we reserve a special shoutout to the solitary Indian living in the department of Haute Saone. The department where you’ll most likely find someone from India is Yonne which is home to 38 Indians. 

Normandy

This region is home to 131 Indian expats, with Seine-Maritime the most popular department at 43. Calvados is not far behind at 42.

Hauts-de-France

There are 489 Indians in this region in the north, most in the department of Nord (231), followed by Oise (187). The other three departments can claim 70 more Indians split fairly evenly between them. 

Grand Est

In the east of France, you will find 541 Indians. Most are in Bas-Rhin (255). Spare a thought for the solitary Indian in Vosges, too!

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Pays de la Loire

There are 276 Indians over the five departments in this western region. By comparison, there are 7,313 Brits so they’re well and truly outnumbered. Loire-Atlantique with 188 Indians is the most popular. 

Brittany

In the north west you can find 185 people from India, an incredibly small amount compared to the 14,581 Anglos out there. The Indians are spread out over the region’s four departments, ranging from 117 in Ille-et-Vilaine to just 12 in Cotes-d’Armor.

Nouvelle-Aquitaine

In the south eastern reaches of France you can find 43,833 Anglo expats, just under 300 of whom come from India. Gironde with its 130 or so Indians is the most popular. The other 11 departments range from 1 in Correze to 13 in Dordogne, which, for the record, has a whopping 7,285 Brits. 

Occitanie

There are 13 departments in Occitanie and 545 Indians. The winner, in terms of total Indians, is Haute-Garonne with around 300. Other notable numbers include the Lot and Gers departments (with just 2 Indians each).

Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes

This region has 12 departments and 1,127 Indians – the most in any region besides Ile de France. They’re mostly findable in the department of Isere (427) and Rhone with 343. A big hello from us here at The Local to the one Indian in Cantal – hope you’re enjoying the local cheese down there. 

Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur

In the sunny south of France you’ll find 879 people from India. They’re mostly in the Alpes Maritimes and Bouches-du-Rhone, which makes up almost 800 of the local Indian population.

Corsica

Lastly, there are just three Indians in Corsica. There are two on the south island and one on the north. 

Indians in France, if you have any issues you’d like us to write about please get in touch

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HEALTH

Mutuelles: Why is French health insurance getting more expensive?

France’s top-up health insurance 'mutuelles' have been getting steadily more expensive in 2020. Here’s a look at what’s changing, why and who is the worst affected.

Mutuelles: Why is French health insurance getting more expensive?
A dentist is checking the teeth of an elderly lady in a nursing home in Paris. Photo: AFP

“The prices have never been so high in France,” said Fabien Soccio, spokesperson for the company Meilleure Assurance (Best Insurance).

His company this week revealed the results of a new study of France's private health insurance fees, mutuelles, to French media.

After comparing 55 different mutuelles health insurances, Meilleur Assurance concluded that there had been a general spike in the average cost.

What is a mutuelle?

France has generous state health care that covers a lot of medical expenses, but not all costs are reimbursed.

In France you pay upfront for your doctor's appointment, prescription or procedure and then the government reimburses the costs to you. Depending on the procedure and your situation, usually about 80-90 percent of the cost is reimbursed.

If that cost is a €25 appointment with your GP that's not such a big deal, but with more expensive treatments the costs can mount up, which is where a mutuelle comes in.

The mutuelle is a 'top-up' insurance – not obligatory, but recommended – which covers extra costs that are not covered by the state. How much a mutuelle covers will depend on the kind of insurance, where you live and the expenses in question.

If you are an employee, your employer must pay for at least half the cost of your mutuelle

Who was affected by the price increase?

The 2020 price hike touched the country as a whole, however some regions and population groups were harder hit than others, Soccio told Le Parisien.

To compare the costs for different socio-demographic groups, Meilleur Assurance created three different types of profiles; a 25-year-old employee with a “classic” mutuelle; a couple with two children, also on a “classic” mutuelle and a 60-year-old couple with “strengthened” guarantees in their mutuelle.

Seniors hardest hit

Retirees tend to go for fuller versions of mutuelles because these cover additional costs (such as dental and optical treatments). 

Seniors on extensive types of mutuelles were those suffering the steepest price increases this year, Soccio said. 

“In 2020, fifteen départements exceeded a threshold of €3,000 in annual fees for a senior couple with extra guarantees,” Soccio said.

“That’s an average increase of more than €176 in one year,” he said.

For the couple with a child, the increase was slighter ( an extra 4 percent), whereas the young employee saw health insurance bills largely unchanged.

READ ALSO Brexit: Do I need a mutuelle to get residency in France?

 

.. along with Parisians

The study also revealed large price differences between different regions, with inhabitants in the Paris region Ile-de-France paying the highest bills for their mutuelles.

A retired couple would pay on average €528 more if they lived in Paris compared to if they lived in a more rural, cheaper département like Mayenne.

Similarly, employees would pay 30 percent more on average in Paris than in Pays-de-la-Loire.

Parisians also saw the steepest price increases since last year, by 14.6 percent on average for the retired couple with a mutuelle covering extra costs.

On a national level, the average price increase for the same couple was 12.1 percent. 

.. but everyone was a little worse off

However the country as a whole saw a price increase last year, with even those opting for the cheapest kinds of health insurance affected by the general price hike.

In one year, from 2019 to 2020, the cheapest type of health insurance had increased by 13.7 percent, according to the study. 

Why the increase?

Prices generally increase a little every year, but this year was unusual, Soccio said.

“Today, we are in an uncertain and troubled situation,” he told Europe 1, listing several factors that had contributed to the price increase: the Covid-19 pandemic, the government's new health reform known as “100 percent Santé”, and a new health tax known as the “Covid surtax”.

When the French government presented their new budget for 2021, centred on their dazzling €100 billion relaunch plan, they promised not to increase taxes for the French. Instead, to top up their savings a little, the government introduced a new tax, the “Covid surtax”, which will be paid through the mutuelles and other health insurance companies.

This tax will provide €1 billion in total to the state in 2021, and €500 million in 2022, according to French media.

What about the future?

Soccio said he worried the trend of prices increasing would continue in the next couple of years, leading to steep prices for even those opting for the cheaper mutuelles.

“It's safe to bet that the national average costs will pass €3,000 in the next two years,” he told Le Parisien.

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