The changing makeup of the expat in France

Our local market is the place where I am most likely to come across other expats and incomers who have made this region their home. It has only been recently however that it has struck me how much the makeup of not only the local population but also of the expat population has changed over the last two decades.

In the past, much of the expat population in France was made up of retirees or early retirees who had often spent many holidays coming to France or possibly had a holiday house here and then moved over to enjoy the last few decades with better weather and better food and wine.

Now however, thanks to the internet and the flexibility of the labour market, people do not have to wait for retirement to follow their dreams and experience the adventure of moving abroad. Hence it is evident that the demographics of expats in France has changed hugely in recent years with young couples, families and career professionals increasingly in the majority.

This can only be for the good as far as I can see; diversity in age, culture and background leads to a fascinating melting pot, shared ideas and hopefully a more open view of the world. There was a time when rural France could be closed and inwards-looking but this is certainly no longer the case thanks to the influence of ever younger and more economically active immigrants (yes, I believe immigration is a force for good but then I am an immigrant so I would say that). The world has certainly shrunk but, at the same time, this has allowed people’s horizons to stretch and, in my opinion, this can only be a good thing.

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