The National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee) and the National Institute for Demographic Studies (INED) have published the first results of the second Trajectories and Origins survey (TeO2), carried out between July 2019 and November 2020 on a representative sample of 27,200 people aged 18 to 59, eleven years after the first edition.

21% of the French population is linked to immigration: 9% of the French population is an immigrant (5.8 million people) and 12% has an immigrant father and/or mother (7.5 million). In addition, 10% of those under 60 are grandchildren of immigrants (4.7 million), according to a first study taken from the TeO2 survey.

In total, a third of people under the age of 60 have a link with immigration over three generations, the institutes point out.

Immigrants are particularly important in the 20-45 age groups (15% of 40-44 year olds), as many arrive in France when they are of working age. There are few among those under 18 (3%).

Conversely, in the second generation, the descendants of immigrants are highly represented among minors (20%), compared to 11% of 18-59 year olds and 7% of over 60 year olds.

– More mixed unions over time –

The figures reflect the history of immigration flows in the 20th and 21st centuries: in the second generation of immigrants, two thirds of minors are of African origin. Conversely, 90% of the descendants of immigrants over the age of 60 are of European origin.

In addition to this overall picture, INSEE and INED show the color chart of the destinies of people with an immigrant background through the couple or the school career.

Thus the institutes note an increase in mixed unions over the generations: 63% of immigrants live in a couple with an immigrant, while 66% of second-generation immigrants are in a couple with people without immigrant ancestry. This is the case for 78% of people from southern Europe, and 39% of those of North African origin.

Because of this mix of unions, the intensity of the link to immigration decreases over the generations: half of second-generation immigrants come from mixed couples. Nine-tenths of third-generation immigrants have only one or two immigrant grandparents.

The children of mixed couples (41%) and the grandchildren of immigrants (44%) are as often graduates of higher education as “the descendants of natives” (43%), according to these figures relating to 30-59 year olds a baccalaureate 2 or more.

This is less the case for the children of two immigrant parents (33%), because their parents had a lower level of education (5% against 20% on average in the other three categories).

– “Strong mobilization of parents” –

However, it is these children of two immigrant parents who “cover the greatest distance”: more than 70% obtain a higher diploma than that of their parents, compared to 55 to 57% of children from families without migratory backgrounds, from couples mixed or 3rd generation.

What comes into play in families from the Maghreb and southern Europe, where only 3% of parents have a higher education diploma, is “the strong mobilization of immigrant parents in favor of the academic success of children”, notes the ‘study.

How do these degrees translate into the job market? Higher education graduates born to parents of non-European origin have more difficulty accessing intermediate or higher professions: 77% for the children of natives, against 63% for those whose parents come from the Maghreb, 67% from Asia and 71% from Africa.

Data from Insee and Ined also show the number of people in France declaring that they have suffered discrimination has increased from 14% to 19% in eleven years.

The first reason for discrimination is origin (nationality or skin color) for 8% of them, but sex has become the first reason for discrimination for women (10%), before origin.