Mobility is now an integral part of the world of work. Professionals in search of new opportunities, consultants on the move for long-term assignments or employees going to a foreign country for training, the French no longer hesitate to move beyond the borders of France. Where and how many are there? Focus on French expatriation statistics.

Why do French people go to live abroad?

The evolution of work has made expatriation more and more common and remains the main reason for French expatriation. Indeed, according to an Ipsos* survey, the objective of French people who move abroad is above all to progress in their professional life. International experience is an opportunity to boost their career and add a real asset to their CV. Another important quality on a resume is the mastery of a foreign language. This second reason is frequently cited among the motivations that drive French people to leave. According to the Ipsos* survey, the French respondents also mentioned the desire to achieve a better standard of living by moving elsewhere. This is particularly possible in countries where the cost of living is lower than in France. Some also offer tax advantages. In addition, expatriates sent abroad by their company enjoy considerable privileges: a higher salary and very often free furnished housing, at least temporarily. Finally, a large number of French people go abroad to study or for training. It should also be noted that a majority of expatriates have left to join one or more relatives abroad.

Finally, among the reasons that push French people to leave are the desire to travel and discover new cultures or to enjoy a more pleasant climate. Nearly one French person in five wishes to settle abroad (Ipsos-Banque Transatlantique survey – March 2014) for a more or less long period of time. The latter also consider that they have a role to play for France, particularly in economic terms, by promoting French culture and products in foreign countries and that, on their return, sharing their international experience is a real asset that deserves to be more highly valued and recognised.

For companies, the management of expatriates is often laborious, and the safety of expatriates is not always taken into consideration.

For companies, the management of accommodation for all their expatriates is often considered difficult and time-consuming, and not very centralized. This lack of centralized information and management tools is often an obstacle to ensuring the safety of these expatriate travelers. MagicStay has created Extendeez®, an open international mobility management software that allows users to choose apartments on several platforms such as airbnb,, HomeAway, Sonder, OnefineStay or local real estate agencies. This digital accommodation management solution for expatriates allows to present several apartments to the expatriate and get his choice, then to book the selected furnished apartment and manage all administrative information during the entire lease. But above all, this international mobility management software ensures the security of these expatriates by being connected to the security operator of the client company.

Statistics on French expatriation.

The number of French people living abroad has increased steadily over the last 20 years. In 2017, there were approximately 1,820,000 expatriates according to the number of entries in the consular register**, but only 8 out of 10 expatriates would be listed in this register. It can then be estimated that their number is more likely to be between 2 and 2.5 million.

But where are they? A few countries in particular seem to be gaining favour with the French, since 40% of the French community abroad is mainly established in the following 5 countries: Switzerland in the first place (furnished apartments in Geneva), with nearly 180,000 expatriates, followed by the United States (furnished apartments in New York)(about 158,000 people) and the United Kingdom (furnished apartments in London) which is on the third step of the podium with about 140,000 French people. Then there are two European and border countries: Belgium (furnished apartments in Brussels) (nearly 125,000 people) and Germany, which is home to just over 118,000 French expatriates**. The next 5 countries are: Canada, Spain, Morocco, Israel and Italy.

In terms of gender equality, parity is respected! Almost as many French women as men live abroad. As for their age, 25% are under 18, 9.5% are between 18 and 25, 23.8% are between 26 and 40, 26.9% are between 41 and 60, and finally, the over-60s represent 14.8%. The majority are couples, 74% of whom 43% have one or two children and 31% have no children. Twenty percent live alone, and 6% live alone with one or more children. Finally, 80% of French expatriates work. The remaining 20% are, among others, travelling, studying or retired***.

Would the grass be greener elsewhere? It’s possible, since 61%** of French expatriates left France more than 5 years ago!

Finding housing: the priority when arriving in a foreign country.

Faced with such a long stay in France, it’s just as well to find the perfect accommodation to avoid homesickness! The search for furnished or empty accommodation in the context of long missions or expatriations is often a great source of stress and the main preoccupation of departing professionals. To accompany you in your search for an apartment abroad, calling on a relocation agency can be of great help.

Moreover, when you don’t have the opportunity to visit the place before your departure, it is difficult to choose your future accommodation on the basis of simple photos. In order to avoid finding yourself in an accommodation that you don’t like or being accommodated in hotels that are not suitable for long stays, opt instead for a furnished rental in an apartment or apart-hotel as soon as you arrive. Indeed, these comfortable and secure accommodations, allowing you to feel at home and to be independent thanks to an equipped kitchen at your disposal, are the best option to start your immersion in a foreign country. Magicstay offers a temporary furnished apartment for short or long term rental to employees who are on the move, while they wait to find a permanent apartment. It is also an opportunity to familiarise yourself with the city and your new daily life before choosing the definitive area where you wish to live.

With over 500,000 accommodations on offer worldwide, you should find your pied-Ă -terre in the four corners of the globe on


*Ipsos-Banque Transatlantique survey: “Links and relations with France of French people living abroad” – September 2015

**Source: MEAE, figures as of 31 December 2017-

***’s 2016 barometer