French diaspora

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The French diaspora designates the diaspora from France and their descendants. Countries with significant numbers of members of the French diaspora include the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, The United Kingdom and several countries of Latin America. As of 2009, it is estimated that the diaspora includes over 300 million people, considerably more than the number of French nationals living abroad, which is around two million.

History

Several events have led to emigration from France. The Huguenots started leaving in the 16th century, a trend that dramatically increased following the 1685 revocation of the Edict of Nantes. French colonization, especially in the Americas, was prominent in the late 17th and 18th centuries. At the end of the 18th century, French emigration (1789–1815) was a massive movement of émigrés mostly to neighboring European countries, as a result of the violence caused by the French Revolution. Later emigration was often associated with economic conditions. From 1847 to 1857, almost 200,000 French people emigrated abroad.[1] From 1821 to 1920, around 121,000 Basques and Bearnese people from Basses-Pyrénées emigrated to America—more than 108,000 from 1835 to 1901.[2]

Between 1848 and 1939, 1 million people with French passports emigrated to other countries.[3] In the Western Hemisphere, the main communities of French ancestry are found in the United States, Canada and Argentina. Sizeable groups are also found in Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Uruguay and Australia.

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