Presentation of the City
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Demographics : a cosmopolitan city


Paris is home to a varied population. A high proportion of students, young workers and elderly people, many tourists and a large number of foreign residents: a genuine cultural wealth.

More than two million people live in Paris. The last full census (1999) showed that the capital had 2,125,246 inhabitants for a surface area of 10,540 hectares, i.e. more than 20,000 inhabitants per square kilometre. It is the densest area in France. According to recent studies, the number of Parisians increased by 19,000 inhabitants between 1999 and 2004 after a steady drop since 1950. This upward trend is continuing.
Today, Parisians account for 19.3% of the population of the Paris region (Ile-de-France), i.e. one in five and 3.6% of the French population, i.e. one person in twenty-eight. The city reached its highest recorded population level in 1921 with almost three million residents. Since then, the number of citizens has gradually decreased.
However, tourists swell the ranks each year. Paris welcomed some 27 million visitors in 2006.

The  less populated central arrondissements

The population density varies between the various arrondissements (districts). The most sparsely populated arrondissements are the 12th (8,370 inhabitants per km, due to the Bois de Vincennes wood) and the 1st (9,228 inhabitants per km). Conversely, the most densely populated arrondissement is the 11th (more than 40,000 inhabitants per km). Paris is the French dpartement with the lowest average number of inhabitants per household. The average size of Parisian households is less than two people (1.75): most families have only one child (50% of households). The capital is home to many single people.
The number of inhabitants also varies between the various arrondissements. The three most populated arrondissements are, in order, the 15th, 18th  and 20th. The least populated arrondissements are the small districts in the city centre: the 1st, 2nd and 4th arrondissements.

A melting-pot of a city

Paris is home to whom today? People originally from Paris are rare. Most residents were not born in the city. Upon reaching retirement age, many leave Paris to retire in the provinces and particularly in the South of France. Paris is a rather young city with lower death rates than the rest of France.
A large number of women are in employment in Paris: the employment rate for mothers with two children has reached 82%, a figure which greatly exceeds the national average.
Around 310,000 foreigners live in Paris, accounting for 14 % of the total population. This is significant even though the number of foreigners residing in Paris has been on the decrease since 1982. Over the same period, the number of people who have obtained French nationality has increased. Out of the foreign residents in Paris, 70% are not from EU member states. Foreign nationals come from a wide range of countries. Studies, work, family many reasons lead foreigners to Paris. The number of different nationalities in Paris is higher than in the suburbs. The North Africans, Turks and EU citizens who make up the 78% of foreigners living in France only account for 56% of Parisians with foreign nationalities.

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