Most French Expats Don’t Want to Return Home Because of Negative Outlook

by Ray Clancy on March 12, 2015

Two thirds of French expats don’t plan on returning home within the next five years as they are put off by the poor state of the country’s economy, a new survey has found.

They also find their life abroad more attractive and tend to earn more money working in a foreign country, according to the poll by French firm Humanis.

france eiffel tower

It is estimated that around 2.5 million French work and live abroad

It is estimated that around 2.5 million French work and live abroad, more than twice as many as there were 20 years ago. There has been a lot of talk about a brain drain as some of the country’s top workers have left in the face of high taxes and austerity measures.

France’s economy is pretty much stagnant and the French President Francois Hollande is not popular due to his inability to bring down unemployment and boost the economy.

Indeed, foreign employers are lapping up the chance to work with the French because they are considered to be productive, well trained, and adaptable, according to expat expert Hervé Heyraud, founder of Le Petit Journal which commissioned the study.

He pointed out that 20% of French expats were earning salaries between €36,000 and €60,000 per year, compared to the French average of €29,000.

However, it was not just about salaries and jobs. Six out of 10 respondents to the survey said the current negative image of France is another reason not to return to France.
But there are things that the French miss when they are abroad, for example culture, the countryside, food, wine and the healthcare system, which was cited by 70% as being better in France.

The survey also found that the average French expat is 48 years old, 58% are women, and the majority are living and working in other European countries with 45% living elsewhere in the world.

Most are married, three in four, some 52% don’t have children, and one in two can boast an annual salary of above €36,000.


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