More French people live in London than in Nantes

Nantes sign panel on entry to CityThis surprised me when I first heard it some months ago, so I thought I would do a little research of my own to validate the claims. Nantes is the regional capital of the Pays de la Loire region of France, has a population of just over 280,000 (many of whom will not be French, as it is a big University City and also popular with the British) and ranks as the 6th largest French city by population.

According to a BBC World Service report from a few years ago the number of French people living in London stood at over 300,000. I think that is quite staggering and would make London the “6th biggest French city” in terms of the number of French living there.

List of top 10 french cities by population

Courtesy of Wikipedia

I wonder which country gets the better deal here – or whether it matters. Most of the French living in London are likely to be young, salary-earning, tax-paying professionals, and so not a big drain on UK social care resources. I would imagine that a good many of the Brits living in and around Nantes will be a little older and so perhaps posing more of a strain on the French health system, but they would generally draw a UK pension and then spend the money in France. they might also operate a gite or other accommodation and so bring money into the area that way.

Any thoughts?

Are you a French person living in London or an English person living in Nantes?

Let us know your story – Why do you live where you do? What do you do? What do you miss about your home country? Do you plan to return home?

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