Labour Market Integration of Young People from the French Overseas Départements: At Home or in Metropolitan France?

The demographic situation in France
By Franck Temporal, Claude-Valentin Marie, Stéphane Bernard, Madeleine Grieve


Since the mid-twentieth century, France’s overseas départements (DOM) have seen intense migration, with criss-crossing flows of DOM native-borns leaving and returning, alongside migrants from France and other countries. Practically all of the DOM native-borns who emigrate – mainly towards metropolitan France – are working-age adults who leave their home for work or educational purposes. This study measures the scale of these migration flows and describes their complexity, focusing on the selection mechanisms at play among leavers and returners, notably in terms of educational level. We also examine the conditions of integration of DOM native-borns in their place of destination and assess the benefits of migration for those who return, the youngest especially (ages 18-34), by comparison with their elders (ages 35-64), the aim being to shed light on the changes which, from one age group to another, have marked this powerful and long-standing migration tradition. The original findings of the Migrations, Family and Ageing survey (MFV), and of the Trajectories and Origins survey (TeO), associated with census data from the DOMs and metropolitan France, provide scope for detailed analysis of the population of DOM native-borns, whatever their place of residence, and for a better understanding of the dynamics involved.


  • DOM native-borns
  • emigration
  • return
  • educational level
  • labour market integration
  • job qualification
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