Americans in France For Members

MAP: Where do all of the Americans in France live?

Genevieve Mansfield
Genevieve Mansfield - [email protected]
MAP: Where do all of the Americans in France live?
US and French flags are displayed at Orly airport (Photo by BORIS HORVAT / AFP)

For those seeking out Americans in France - or perhaps wanting to avoid them - here are the areas in France most popular with US citizens.


France and the United States have a long history and mostly friendly history - France is, after all, America's 'oldest ally'. 

From the country's francophile founding fathers like Benjamin Franklin to the scores of American writers including Ernest Hemingway, who made France their home during the 1920s, moving to France is a popular option. 

READ MORE: Oldest allies: The best and worst moments of the French-American relationship

According to recent census data, there were at least 29,491 US nationals officially living in France as of 2020. However, the American embassy has even estimated that this number could rise up to 100,000 when taking into account those visiting for short stays, like study abroad students and posted workers.


During the summer months, the number of US nationals in France is known to increase significantly, with the country being ranked second among Americans for the most popular place to visit, just after Italy.

As of 2022, American tourists were among the biggest spenders, having spent an average of €400 per day in France - with a 10-day budget rising to €7,687, according to Geo FR

Paris is by far the most popular place for Americans to visit, with 72 percent telling Le Figaro this was their primary trip destination. After that, American tourists prioritised Marseille (28 percent), Disneyland Paris (27 percent), Nice (26 percent), and then Versailles and Lyon tied for fifth place at 22 percent.

And there are many more Americans looking to make their visit to France permanent, with a dream of moving to France. 

So if you are an American thinking of coming to l'Hexagone, there are the French regions where you can find (or avoid) your fellow countrymen.


Based on 2020 data from the French national statistic agency INSEE, the Paris region was home to over 40 percent of the Americans living in France with 13,903 Americans in the greater Paris region of Île-de-France.

As for the city of Paris itself, 8,491 Americans live here.

READ MORE: The Emily Effect? Why more and more Americans want to move to France


Around one-fifth of the second-home owners in Paris live abroad, according to 2020 data from INSEE. While the majority of these second-home owners are other Europeans, particularly people from Italy, Switzerland and the UK, there are two Paris arrondissements where American second-home owners are most prevalent: the 13th and 16th. 

The Emily in Paris Netflix show has been a recent factor in making more Americans dream of living in the capital. An Ifop poll for US Francophile travel site Bonjour New York found that 73 percent of US citizens have a good opinion of the country and its people, up from just 39 percent in 2007, four years after the political stand-off over the invasion of Iraq. 

READ MORE: Cafés, rats and French classes: What it's really like living in Paris

Of the respondents, about a third said they would like to live in France, and three-quarters (75 percent) said they would like to spend a short stay in Paris. For almost half (44 percent), the prospect of following in Emily's footsteps by spending a year in the city of light was particularly appealing, especially among the younger age group, notably progressive urbanites.


Another benefit to living in Paris for Americans may be English-proficiency - according to global scores for the Education First English Language Proficiency test in 2022, even though France came in last place out of the EU countries for English levels, Paris as a city scored higher than other European ones, such as Madrid and Rome. 

The Alps

After Paris, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region came in second place with 3,163 Americans living there. 

With proximity to several urban areas, as well as the Alps mountains which are a coveted holiday location, particularly for skiing and winter sports, this region was a very well-liked destination amongst Americans living in France.

READ MORE: How Americans can move to France (and stay here)

The largest group of US nationals (864 people) in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes can be found in the Rhône département, which includes the city of Lyon, known as the gastronomic capital of France.


After that, the Ain département (651 people), which is not far from Geneva on the border with Switzerland, as well as Haute-Savoie (517 people), and Isère, home to Grenoble, (457 people) were all popular spots for Americans. 

As for Allier, Cantal, Ardeche, Haute-Loire, and Savoie, together they accounted for 287 Americans, but these individual départements did not specify exactly how many US nationals they were home to.

The Mediterranean

Provence-Alpes Côtes-d'Azur (PACA) followed in third place, with 2,722 Americans making the region of the French Riviera their home.

With its irresistible combination of sun, sea, mountains and rosé wine, it’s not hard to see why so many Americans have chosen to live in the sunny south.

In the PACA region, almost half of the Americans (1,008) were located in the Alpes-Maritimes département, with 493 living in the city of Nice. 

The large bulk of the other half of Americans in PACA (934 of them) were living in the Bouches du Rhône département, which is home to Marseille. 

READ MORE: Revealed: How your food and drink habits change when you move to France

The Var (335 Americans) and Vaucluse (290) followed, with Hautes Alpes and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence combined only having 155 Americans in total.

The region of Occitanie, the location of the Pyrenees mountains, as well as Toulouse and Montpellier, follows PACA with 2,470 Americans calling it home. 

The off-the-beaten track areas

Both the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region and the Grand-Est region welcome over 1,000 Americans respectively. 

Nouvelle-Aquitaine is known for its wine country and long coastline, as well as the city of Bordeaux and for the Americans living in France, it is slightly more popular than Grand-Est with 1,878 American inhabitants.

In comparison, Grand-Est, located along the border with Germany, and it counts 1,264 Americans. 


The regions in western France - like Brittany, Normandy and Pays-de-la-Loire together counted a little over 2,000 Americans, but individually, they were only home to a few hundred US nationals. 

Northern France (Hauts-de-France) and Central France (Centre-Val-de-Loire) seem less appealing, with 806 and 641 Americans respectively.

Burgundy, known for its rural landscapes, is the mainland French region with the lowest number of Americans - only 553 US nationals lived there, as of 2020.

However, Corsica takes the cake - as the Mediterranean island had no specific 2020 data for the amount of Americans living there, but in 2014, Corsica only had about 61 Americans.

Though the Mediterranean island is often nicknamed the “Island of beauty”, and it is hot travel spot among the French, there are no large urban centres for jobs and transport links to the mainland make it a more expensive choice. 


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