From Revolution to De-Evolution – The Current State of France

The Colonies Strike Back – The Origin of French Immigration

France was, since its foundation, one of the greatest powers on the European continent. Germany and Italy did not become states until the 19th century, and only in 1871 did Germany show it was the new primary power. Although Napoleon showed that France could be stopped by grand coalition, that did not stop the French thirst for expansion. So, like others had done before them, France started to carve up its part of the world. It conquered most of North-Western Africa, which speaks French to this day as a result.

France had colonies outside of Africa as well. However, its settlements in America had been sold to the United States in the Louisiana purchase. Beyond that, France had a small presence in Asia, ending with the Vietnamese revolting. By far, France’s colonial presence was centered on Africa.

And by far, that is where France’s migrants would be coming from, similar to the current situation in the UK where a large portion of migrants are coming from ex-colony countries such as Pakistan and India. Fueled by relaxed immigration rules for those coming from previous colonial territory, and the ease of already speaking the language, masses of Africans would move towards France in the search for a more comfortable life.

The Demographics of France

There are about 67 million inhabitants of France. Using the percentages below, that means there are less than sixty million French born citizens, versus another eight million foreigners and foreign-born. If we include the descendants of immigrant-parents, we have another 6.5 million more. That would bring us to 20% of the citizens of France being immigrants, or born from immigrant parents. This would leave around 53 million of the total 67 million being born to parents that were also born in France.


Population of France, 2014

Considering France has an unemployment rate of 9.9%, a number that has not dropped below 9% since the crash of 2008, it is hard to argue all those eight million are there to fill the empty vacancies. This becomes even more visible when we realize that 17% of the foreign-born population is unemployed.

France’s population is expected to grow to over 72 million by 2050. This makes it one of a few European countries that is expected to grow at all. Since all of Europe has fertility rates below the replacement rate of 2.1, any growth is purely due to immigration. France, interestingly, has a fertility rate of 1.96. That is the highest score in all of Europe, but still not high enough to explain any population growth. In fact, without immigration, it would mean France’s population would shrink very slowly.

Every year there are close to 800.000 babies born in France. That number includes babies born in France by parents that were born outside of France. Population growth is ensured by the annual arrival of another 200.000 immigrants entering the country.

Where do France’s Immigrants Come From?

As with every EU member-state, many immigrants come from other European countries. Portuguese, Italians, Germans and British, all have settled in France. Especially since the crisis of 2008, after which Europeans started moving around looking for jobs. Portugal is the biggest supplier of immigrants, with an estimated 600.000 residing in France. However, these are not all of the immigrants. Out of the nearly six million immigrants in France, only two million are from Europe. That leaves four million that were born outside of not only the EU, but outside of Europe as a whole. As mentioned previously, many of them come from Africa and/or ex-French colonies.

Exact figures regarding demographics are difficult to pinpoint, since French law forbids taking an official census based on race or religion. That being said, independent research organizations are allowed to take surveys and make estimates.

  • 85% French or European
  • 10% North-African / Maghrebi
  • 3% Sub-Saharan African
  • 1.5% Asian

Estimates from 2009 placed the amount of Maghrebi a bit lower, at just over 5% of the total population. The North-Africans are primarily Algerians and Moroccans, who make up the largest immigrant groups from non-European origins.

Islam in France – Churches Are Replaced By Mosques

The independent research organization, Pew Research, estimates the current amount of Muslims in the country to be 8.8%, the highest level within the European Union. That is nearly six million Muslims in France today. They expect Muslims to make up between 12.7% to 18% by 2050, varying between scenarios going from zero migration to high migration. The 18% that we would have if migration patterns of the last years continue, would mean there are 13 million Muslims living in France by that time. That is more than the population of entire Belgium.

This increase of Muslims in France leads to not only a demographic change in the country, but a cultural and religious change as well.

France has a long history. That history is interwoven with its Catholic faith. That interwoven history has resulted in many churches all over France. Now, thousands of churches are waiting for their destruction. The government has done the math, and it is cheaper to demolish century old buildings than to renovate them. Thus, in comes the wrecking ball.

Currently there are around 2500 mosques in France, but the construction of new mosques can hardly keep up with the demand. Supported by foreign funds from Morocco, Saudi-Arabia and Algeria new mosques are constantly being built. As Christianity and the churches wither away, Islam and the mosques march on. The future of France could not be any clearer, or any more visible, than by watching the cities change shape. In the France of the future, if current trends continue, it will not be the church bells that wake people in the morning; it will be the calls for prayer coming from the mosque. In such a reality it would not be difficult to imagine the Notre Dame being replaced in importance and relevance by the Grand Mosque.

This is (to say the least) ironic, considering that the invading armies of the Islamic Caliphate in the battle of Poitiers in 732. The French King Charles Martel defeated the Muslims and halted the Islamic invasion of Europe. Realistically, if it was not for that victory of the French, there was no force in Europe that could have stopped a further invasion of the Muslims. All of Europe might have well been taken by the Caliphate if Charles Martel had lost the battle that day. Needless to say, this development is a stab to the back to the ancestors of France.

The Future Growth

Going back to the demographic situation, France has a relatively high fertility rate, and there are four babies born to every immigrant entering the country. This makes France look relatively healthy at first, but we have to take into consideration that 20% of France already consists of immigrants and their children. Moreover, since France’s immigration has been taking place at a high pace since the end of World War 2 and the era of de-colonialization, there are third-generation immigrants that do not show up in those statistics.

In other words, many of the 800.000 babies born will be non-French. How many exactly is near impossible to say. What we do know is that the Muslim fertility rate in France is 2.9, versus a non-Muslim rate of 1.9. Consequently, the size of the Muslim group in France will grow rapidly even without immigration. Further immigration will contribute to the population growth, and immigration will mostly come from Islamic areas of Africa. Even with zero migration, in three decades France is expected to have Muslims making up over 12% of its population. If migration continues, this will be 18%. That means it will be 1 in 8, to nearly 1 in 5 who are Muslim. And if we take the whole non-white population, including non-Muslims, into consideration the figure would of course be even higher.


This means that over the long run, the French population will slowly shrink and eventually reach a minority status if present trends continue. Exactly what year this turning point will happen is of less importance. It is also difficult to pin point considering the lack of statistics available on this subject. The main point to highlight here is the demographic trend, that the native French population is slowly being replaced. 

This is a situation and development that the people of France do not want. Already, 47% of France agrees with the statement ”There are so many foreigners living here that it doesn’t feel like home anymore”. A stunning 75% say that France and Islam are not compatible, and 70% say there are too many foreigners in France already.

So the question is, when will the French rekindle the Bastille fighting spirit?

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