Brits love living in France and vice versa

by Ray Clancy on August 9, 2017

France is a popular choice for British expats and vice versa with new statistics showing that almost the same number have moved to each other’s country in recent years.

There were an estimated 148,800 British citizens living in France in 2016 of which 43% were aged 15 to 54 years and 46% were aged 55 and over, according to official figures from both countries published by the UK’s Office of National Statistics (ONS).


About half of British citizens in France were working, the majority of those aged under 50 years old work, whilst the majority of those aged 50 and over were neither working nor looking for work, therefore probably retired.

The figure reveal that approximately 66,773 recipients of the UK State Pension were resident in France in November 2016 and the number has increased each year since May 2002, increasing at a slightly faster rate between 2002 and 2008.

The most common region for British citizens to live in France is Nouvelle-Aquitaine with 26% of British expats living in this south western region, followed by the Occitanie on the southern Mediterranean coast with 17% and 13% in and around Paris.

However expats aged 25 to 54 were more likely to live in and around Paris with the Île-de-France region home to 10,400 British citizens in this age group.

The regions least popular with British expats are in the North and East, including Hauts-de France, Grand Est, Bourgone-Franche-Comte and Centre Val de Loire.

The figures also show that there were 154,800 French citizens estimated to be resident in the UK in 2013 to 2015 and more than half of these were aged 25 to 44 years. Some 95% were estimated to live in England, 3% in Scotland and 2% in Wales.

Of those aged 16 to 64 years, 94,000 or 78% were working, 7,700 or 6% were unemployed, 8,500 or 7% were students and 9,800 were otherwise economically inactive, for example, those staying at home with children or retired early.

Of French citizens working in the UK, 29% worked in the banking and finance sector and 25% worked in the public admin, education and health sector while 65% worked in higher level professions.

This compares with Spanish citizens in the UK, where 25% worked in banking and finance and 28% worked in public admin, education and health. There was also a large group of Spanish citizens that worked in distributions, hotels and restaurants at 25%, compared with 19% of French citizens.

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