The 14 Words

Monday, 27 January 2014

The Africanization of France


Geographically one finds France in Europe, but demographically the country is swiftly drifting towards Africa as recent data indicates. 

France, unlike America, does not hold censuses on ethnicity, but follows instead its ideal of the color-blind republic. This, obviously, does not change one bit the ethnic reality on the ground, but it certainly helps to keep its citizens in the dark about it. No official figures exist on the size of the immigrant population and the native French – until now. Pertinent material has come from quite an unexpected source, medicine, and it has all the hallmarks of allowing us for the first time an adequately precise and unbiased look into the strong growth of the non-White population in France.

Since 2000, the country has conducted a nationwide program of neonatal screening for sickle cell disease (SCD). SCD is a genetic disease by and large peculiar to non-European people. However, due to Third World immigration it has become the most common genetic disorder in today’s France. To provide early medical treatment for the illness, the French public health authorities have defined risk groups which are liable to screening. These comprise primarily people of African origin, from North and sub-Saharan Africa as well as ethnic Africans from the Americas. A second risk group consists of persons with a Near or Middle Eastern background (Turkey, the Arabian peninsula and the Arab lands in between) and from the Indian subcontinent. The rest is made up of migrants from a comparatively small coastal rim in Southern Europe, namely Portugal, Southern Italy, Greece and the isles of Corsica and Sicily.

Newborn babies in France are defined as “being at-risk for SCD when at least one parent originates from a risk region” where the responsible gene is prevalent. This national screening policy based on the ethnic origin of the parents permits us to see the full extent of the rapidly expanding demographics of the non-white French population:

In 2000, 19 percent of all newborn babies in mainland France had at least one parent originating from the regions above. This share rose to 28.45 percent in 2007 and to 31.5 percent in 2010 or, in total numbers, 253,466 out of the 805,958 babies born. In other words: within a decade, the number of (partly) extra-European babies has risen on the mainland from about one fifth to almost one third.

The medical survey provides us with even more data, namely a breakdown per region (see map below). We learn that in 2010, 60 percent of newborns in the Ile de France, essentially Paris, descended from non-Europeans. In Provence Alpe du Sud, where Le Pen’s Front National is particularly strong, the non-White share was 43.2 percent; in neighbouring Languedoc Roussillon 41.6 percent. The lowest share was recorded in the Bretagne, 5.5 percent. In every single of the 22 Metropolitan regions of France the portion of immigrant babies rose between 2007 and 2010.



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