IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Migration from sub-Saharan Africa to Europe:still a limited trend


  • David Lessault
  • Cris Beauchemin


At the time of the 1962 census, there were only 20,000 sub-Saharan immigrants in France, compared with 570,000 in 2004, a 27-fold increase in just over 40 years. Though the increase is indeed large, the starting point was very low. In 2004, sub-Saharan Africans represented slightly more than one-tenth of all French immigrants (12%). Including undocumented immigrants does not change the picture. It simply raises the proportion of sub-Saharans from 9% to a maximum of 11% of the total immigrant population in France. Sub-Saharans represent only a minority of immigrants in France, and the same is true in the other main receiving countries. In 2000, they accounted for only 4% of the immigrants residing in OECD countries. And even in the new European receiving countries – Spain and Italy – they represent less than 10% of the immigrant population, irregular immigrants included (4% in Spain and 8% in Italy in 2006). In practice, few sub-Saharans migrate away from Africa. Nine in ten sub-Saharan refugees remain on the continent and settle in a neighbouring country. Practically on a level with Asia, sub-Saharan Africa is the region where the propensity to emigrate to OECD countries is by far the world’s lowest (in 2000, fewer than one person in a hundred born in sub-Saharan Africa was living in an OECD country).

Suggested Citation

  • David Lessault & Cris Beauchemin, 2009. "Migration from sub-Saharan Africa to Europe:still a limited trend," Population and Societies 452, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED).
  • Handle: RePEc:idg:posoce:452

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Afulani, Patience A. & Torres, Jacqueline M. & Sudhinaraset, May & Asunka, Joseph, 2016. "Transnational ties and the health of sub-Saharan African migrants: The moderating role of gender and family separation," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 63-71.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:idg:posoce:452. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ined). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.