The French government’s national census for 2014 started January 14th.
The news channel BFMTV has more information here (in French).
I’ve summed up the basics below.
There is also a (French) FAQ guide on the official Insee census site here.
The census allows the government to determine the population of France’s communes (villages, towns, cities), as well as key statistics associated with more than 350 different legislative and regulatory codes related to citizen issues (size of municipal government, budget, how many pharmacies per town…).
About 9 million French households will be concerned this year, as since 2004 the national census has functioned on a rolling basis every year. This means that a household that is part of a sample of the population will on average be surveyed a maximum of once every 5 years. (Before then historically, the census was carried out on a larger scale every 8-9 years nationally).
It is being carried out by 23,000 census agents recruited through different town halls, distributing surveys through the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (L’Insee). These agents will have ID cards with a French flag.
They will be distributing 2 kinds of papers:
1) une “feuille de logement” – “Residential property sheet” which will collect info on the person’s property (house, apartment, condo…).
2) un “bulletin individuel” – “Individual ballot” which each person at the residency will fill out regarding their individual profiles.
Here’s the timing:
For villages/smaller towns: This year’s census starts today January 14 through February 15 for the 7,135 communes of France with fewer than 10,000 residents.
For larger towns/cities: The census goes from January 14 to February 22 for the 983 towns and cities that have more than 10,000 residents, as well as in the Antilles and French Guiana.
For Réunion: The census goes from January 22 to March 8.
Paper and Web versions
Those taking the census can fill out the papers and give them directly to the census agents, or bring them to their local town hall as well as l’Insee. They can also opt for the web version on the aforementioned site www.le-recensement-et-moi.fr for 412 different communes where that option is available. (In 2015, all communes will be available to access the web version).
I will be enhancing my content this year to provide more insight about expat issues.
Bupa International is known for working with international expatriates, employers and families.
They were recently able to answer some of my questions below that are relevant to expat issues. Please see those questions and answers below (note British spelling at some points).
They also recently interviewed me on expat issues, and that article will be posted later.
In addition, I’d recommend checking out their free guide to moving to France, available on this page.
What issues have you seen develop for expat clients moving abroad for the first time? What kinds of information do expats seek?
Moving abroad for the first time can be both exciting and daunting, and the issues facing expats often depend on individual circumstances. Those who are taking their family with them, for instance, may have the added responsibility of finding suitable schools for their children, and so issues can sometimes relate to the standard of education and any potential language barriers they may face.
A recent study from the Daily Telegraph identified the most common issues people moving abroad requested information about. Unsurprisingly, issues such as tax, domicile and residence featured high on the list, as well as information regarding employment, visas and work permits. International health care and insurance is another important aspect of moving abroad, and one which it is crucial to read up on in order to find the best arrangement for you and your family. Many people also enquire about international money transfers and currency exchange, whilst information on the transfer of UK pensions and overseas pensions is also frequently requested.
How easy is it for expats to get coverage for their families while living abroad?
We understand that modern day life can often bring about quick changes, such as moving abroad due to work commitments. Whilst an individual may have personal health cover, it is crucial to ensure the entire family are protected by a suitable health policy. Because of this, we have made it easy to tailor your health cover during your policy, meaning additional family members can be included as and when required.
Does Bupa prefer to work directly with both international and local employers rather than freelance consultants?
We strive to work with local employers wherever possible, but depending on location it may sometimes be impossible to rely solely on local or international employers. Varying legislations around the world mean that some Partners or Brokers may be required in order to give us the coverage needed. Our focus is always on providing the best possible service.
Happy New Year to you all!
I can’t think of a better way to start 2014 right than by partaking in a very valuable and helpful survey of expatriation and international careers.
A researcher and her team in Germany are conducting this important study (more information below).
Please submit your answers by February 28.
This will contribute to some great insights in this increasingly globalized world.
The results will be shared later this year.
Expatstudy is a research project by Hanna Sophie Simmons for the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich tackling the question how expatriation influences career success. No existing research has ever sufficiently addressed this relationship and standpoints are very contradictory.
Expatriation and repatriation issues cannot be generalized worldwide, as immense differences in repatriation policies, the recruitment and selection of expatriate personnel, sense of loyalty between the employees and their company, international staffing policies, expatriate contract length, and a country’s volume of self-initiated expatriates exist. Thus, with organizations around the world having never implemented a uniform stance on expatriation, more conclusive research on the relationship of international assignments and repatriates’ career success is absolutely essential.
We need your support and EVERYONE is welcome!
Whether or not you have ever been on an expat assignment, IT DOESN’T MATTER, you CAN still participate. YOU are the key to helping make this study unique and successful.
Without research, there is no development. Without your participation in this survey, there will be less research. So please dedicate 10 minutes of your time and participate. Your effort will not go unnoticed and will be greatly appreciated.
As the year closes and France brings in the new year in the next few minutes, I wanted to wish you all a happy holiday season and extend my best wishes for 2014. As they say, “tous mes vœux !”.
I look forward to sharing new content and information with you in the next year. Thank you for your readership.
The European-American Chamber of Commerce (EACC) has an upcoming conference in Lyon, France on Investing in the USA. The details (and registration information – under “inscriptions”) are below. I worked with some of these professionals before, and I can tell you it’s a great opportunity to learn more about transatlantic business relations, as well as network with like-minded professionals in Lyon.
Presenters will include the US Consul to Lyon, Clayton Stanger.
The Lyon newspaper Le Progrès also published an article on the conference today.
The right time to INVEST IN THE USA
Enjeux | Dispositifs | Clefs de réussite | Supports pratiques
Réussir vos projets aux Etats-Unis: opportunités et moyens à disposition des PME.
Mardi 17 Décembre 2013 | 12h – 14h
OnlyLyon – Skyroom – Tour Oxygène
10-12 bvd Vivier Merle 69003 LYON
Conférence en français et en anglais
Les États-Unis représentent toujours la première économie du monde et le premier consommateur de la planète. À l’heure où les contours d’un traité de libre échange entre les États-Unis et l’Union Européenne se dessinent, il est impératif de comprendre les enjeux qui y sont liés et de tirer avantage au plus tôt de ces futures opportunités d’affaires. C’est également l’un des marchés les plus difficiles à pénétrer car l’implantation commerciale ou industrielle est souvent recommandée pour gagner en proximité et répondre à une très grande exigence en matière de services.
Quelles opportunités et quels moyens sont à disposition des PME désireuses de conquérir le marché américain ? C’est ce que vont vous présenter nos Experts, spécialistes de l’implantation et de l’accueil d’investisseurs étrangers aux États-Unis.
Clayton STANGER :
Monsieur le Consul des États-Unis | Lyon
Julie-Capucine HOURS :
Responsable Amérique du Nord | CCI de Lyon
Tom THORELLI :
Avocat au barreau de Chicago | Paris
François HECHINGER :
Parner – West Region Venture & Private Equity Tax Practice Leader | BDO U.S.A.
Nicolas BERNARD-MASSON :
FDI manager de l’Etat de Pennsylvanie en Europe francophone | Lyon
Témoignage d’une entreprise (à confirmer)
Johann SPONAR :
Représentant Officiel de l’Etat de Pennsylvanie en Europe francophone et Directeur Général de SALVEO
Bradley STOCK :
Président de l’European American Chamber of Commerce Rhône-Alpes
11h40 – Accueil + Cocktail de bienvenue
12h15 – Séminaire
13h30 – Questions | Cocktail networking | Rendez-vous B to B
L’inscription est gratuite mais obligatoire : email@example.com
Lyon’s famous “Fête des Lumières” is going on this weekend and ending tomorrow. It’s an amazing festival of lights around the city – a true spectacle of art, culture and entertainment that celebrates the city’s history. I went for 5 years (2007-2011) and enjoyed every minute.
Last week there was an interesting op-ed in the New York Times. It can be found here, and I’ve pasted the article below. It’s a reflection by expat author Pamela Druckerman on her experience living in France and how she has done well but also struggled to fully adapt to her adopted country and especially Paris.
She has some interesting insights and in particular outlines what she believes are the three main angles American expats in Paris usually take: “fantastists”, “denialists” and “authentic” experience searchers. (Bold face sentence below in article is my emphasis).
Personally I relate a bit more to the “authentic” searcher group.
What is your angle? Do you agree, and as an expat from a country besides the US – are there alternate approaches?
Contributing Op-Ed Writer
An American Neurotic in Paris
By PAMELA DRUCKERMAN
Published: November 27, 2013
PARIS — A few years back I took the ultimate expatriate plunge: I started doing psychotherapy in French. I figured that, as part of the deal, I’d get free one-on-one French lessons. And I hoped that if I revealed my innermost thoughts in French, I might finally feel like an ordinary Parisian — or at least like an ordinary Parisian neurotic.
I soon realized this was a doomed enterprise. Each week I’d manage to vaguely sketch out my feelings and describe the major characters in my life. But it was hard to free associate when I was worried about conjugating verbs correctly. Sometimes I’d just trail off, saying, “Never mind, everything’s fine.”
I’m aware that there are worse things to be than an American in Paris. You could be, for example, a Congolese in the Democratic Republic of Congo. But as I spend my 10th Thanksgiving here, permit me a moment of reflection. Because Thanksgiving prompts the question that expatriates everywhere face: Shouldn’t I be going home?
The Americans in Paris tend to fall into three categories. There are the fantasists — people nourished by Hemingway and Sartre, who are enthralled with the idea of living here. The moneyed version of this person lives as close as possible to the Eiffel Tower. The Bohemian version teaches English or tends bar, to finance his true vocation: being in France.
Then there are the denialists — often here for a spouse’s job — who cope with living in Paris by pretending they’re not in Paris. They tap into a parallel universe of Anglophone schools, babysitters and house painters, and get their French news from CNN.
Finally there are people like me, who study France and then describe it to the folks back home. We’re determined to have an “authentic” French experience. And yet, by mining every encounter for its anthropological significance, we keep our distance, too.
No matter how familiar Paris becomes, something always reminds me that I don’t belong. The other evening, as I chastised the lady who had cut in line at the supermarket, I realized she was grinning at me — amused by my accent. During conversations in French, I often have the sensation that someone is hitting my head. When surrounded by Parisians, I feel 40 percent fatter, and half as funny. Even my shrink eventually took pity and offered to do the sessions in English. (It turns out she’s fluent.)
The question of whether to stay is especially resonant for Americans in Paris, because many feel that they live here by accident. Not many foreigners move to Paris for their dream job. Many do it on a romantic whim. Expatriates often say that they came for six months, but ended up staying for 15 years. And no one is quite sure where the time went. It’s as if Paris is a vortex that lulls you with its hot croissants and grand boulevards. One morning, you wake up middle-aged — still speaking mediocre French.
I wasn’t sure how long I’d live here, but I did expect my stay to follow a certain expatriate narrative: You arrive; you struggle to understand the place; you finally crack the codes and are transformed; you triumphantly return home, with a halo of foreign wisdom and your stylish bilingual children in tow.
But 10 years on, I’ve gone way off that script. Those stylish children threaten to mutiny if I even mention the possibility of moving. I’ve got a French mortgage, and I’m on the French equivalent of the P.T.A. It’s like being a stranger in a very familiar land. I haven’t cracked the codes, but I no longer feel entirely out of sync: When the whole country goes into mourning after a beloved singer or actor dies, these days I actually know who the guy was.
Sometimes I yearn to be in a place where I don’t just know more or less what people are saying, but know exactly what they mean. But I’m no longer fully in sync with America either. Do people there really eat Cronuts, go on juice fasts and work at treadmill desks?
The thought of becoming an ordinary American again scares me. We expatriates don’t like to admit it, but being foreign makes us feel special. Just cooking pancakes on Sunday morning is an intercultural event. I imagine being back in the United States and falling in with a drone army of people who think and talk just like me — the same politics, the same references to summer camp and ’70s television.
But the fact is, those drones are my people. I end up gravitating toward them in Paris, too. The biggest lesson I’ve learned in 10 years is that I’m American to the core. It’s not just my urge to eat turkey in late November. It’s my certainty that I have an authentic self, which must be expressed. It’s being so averse to idleness that I multitask even when I’m having my head shrunk. And it’s my strange confidence that, whether I stay or go, everything will be fine.
Pamela Druckerman is the author of “Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting.