The Chapelle neighbourhood (19th). © 2014 Angeline Escafré-Dublet / Utrecht University. All rights reserved.
Paris is the largest city in France with a population of 2.27 million and is located on the River Seine in the northern part of the country. Its concentration of political, economic, cultural and education institutions makes Paris a popular destination for tourists, investors and students from France and abroad.

Paris has long been a diverse city. From the rural French migrating to the city in the 19th century, the southern Europeans in the 20th century, to migrants from outside Europe after WWII and the dismantling of the French Empire, Paris has been a melting pot for successive waves of in-migrants, whatever their social and economic status. To this day, it has a higher rate of foreign-born (20%) in comparison with the rest of the country (8.4%).

Paris is nevertheless a divided city. The south-western area has some of the highest income rates in the country whilst the north-eastern part has disadvantaged areas with high levels of unemployment. However, the north-eastern area has been attracting middle-to upper middle class inhabitants and is currently undergoing gentrification.

The 18th and 19th districts situated in the north eastern part were previously the industrial and craft areas of Paris and still has the lowest median income level (€18,050, €16,179) in the city (€24,623) . There is a concentration of “priority neighbourhoods” that are the target of local and national urban renewal and social cohesion programmes (“city policies”).

The selected neighbourhoods are Goutte d’or and Chapelle in the 18th district, and Flandres, in the 19th district. These areas have a high concentration of mixed, social and private low-rental housing. There are higher rates of foreign-born, unemployed and young people than the average Parisian population. With its long tradition of receiving newcomers since the 19th century, Goutte d’or has the highest rate of foreign-born (36,9%) and Flandres the largest increase of foreign-born over the past six years.

Urban renewal programmes in the 18th and 19th districts focus mainly on renovation and upgrading of the housing stock with an emphasis on keeping the neighbourhoods accessible to low-income households and preserving the social-mix. Social cohesion programmes aim at maintaining equal access to social services by all Parisians. They also implement integration and anti-discrimination policies (eg. quality of schools, access to employment and liveability).

With the upcoming creation of the Paris Metropolis, the competency of urban renewal will probably shift to the level of the metropolis, while the social dimension of inclusion should remain in the realm of City Policies, implemented by the City Policies Department of the City of Paris.

The multi-ethnic character of Goutte d’Or, Chapelle and Flandres is visible in the shops and restaurants located in these neighbourhoods. Some of the businesses (e.g. marché Dejean in Goutte d’Or), attract clientele from outside the area, contributing to its process of gentrification.

District Images

Key Statistics

FRANCE France Paris 18th 19th
Area (km²) 674 843 105.4 6.01 6.79
Total Population [1] 65 585 857 2 274 880 204 546 187 766
Education [2]
High school drop-out rate (over 15) 11.90% 9.70% 14.10% 15.80%
Median Income per Consumption Unit [3] 18 355 € 24 623 € 18 050 € 16 179 €
Unemployment [4] 10.90% 9.30% 11.70% 13.30%
Receiving state benefits [5] 1 504.00 4.50% 6.60% 7.30%
Owner-occupied housing [6] 57.50% 33.10% 32.80% 28.80%
Average renting price (€/m²) [7] 12.6 20.1 18.3 17.8
Main foreign-born groups by country of birth [8] France Paris 18th 19th
Algeria 1.11% 2.00%
Morocco 1.02% 1.62%
Portugal 0.89% 1.32%
Tunisia 0.36% 1.27%
Italy 0.46% 0.68%
Spain 0.37% 0.61%
Turkey 0.37% 0.23%
Other countries 1.28% 5.76%
Other African countries 1.09% 3.09%
Other EU countries 1.03% 2.41%
Other European countries 0.36% 0.99%
Total foreign-born 8.40% 20%
France 92.6% 80%
Total 100% 100%
Age Groups [9]

Paris 20

Paris 75+

1. 2011 Population Census (INSEE)   
2. 2012 figures from the national representation of the Educational Ministry at the level of Paris (Rectorat) – no corresponding figures could be found at national level.
3. 2008-2009 figures from General Tax Office
4. 2010-2011 figures from National agency for employment (Pôle emploi)   
5. 2010-2011 figures from the Paris Family Allowance Office (Caisse d’allocation familliale) indicating the percentage of people receiving state allowance (Revenu de solidarité active)
6. 2009 Population Census (INSEE)   
7. 2009-2010 figures from the Observatory of Parisian Rents (Observatoire des loyers)
8. The breakdown of foreign born according to their nationality at birth is not available at district level; children of immigrants appear as French (2010 Population Census, INSEE).
9. 2009 Population Census (INSEE)

Paris Reports

Urban Policies on Diversity

Critical analysis of existing urban policy programmes and discourses in the case study city. Includes overview of political systems and governance structures, key shifts in national discourses, and approaches to policy over migration, citizenship, and diversity.

Governance Arrangements and Initiatives

Analysis of local governance arrangements and initiatives in the case study area that target social cohesion, social mobility and economic performance.

Work Package 5 Initiatives

Fieldwork Inhabitants

Analysis of how urban diversity and policies and arrangements affect different population groups living in cities in terms of social cohesion and social mobility.

Fieldwork Entrepreneurs

Analysis of how urban diversity and policies and arrangements with respect to urban diversity affect different population groups living in cities in terms of economic performance and to clarify who (which social groups) profit and how they profit.

Paris News

Paris City Book


Paris, the focus of this book, is a highly diverse city with a current population of about 2.24 million inhabitants, making it the largest municipality in France. It is located on the river Seine, in

Majid El Jarroudi on Diversity Majid El Jarroudi of the Agency for Entrepreneurial Diversity spoke to us about in Paris.