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By David Fuller

A new study suggests that the reasons that the majority of Brits move to France are likely to be very different as to why the French move to the UK.

A detailed study carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests that almost half (45 per cent) of the 148,800 British citizens who were officially resident in France last year were aged 55 or over. What’s more, over 66,000 people receiving the UK State Pension were resident in France as of November 2016.

This data, the ONS suggests, shows that the majority of Brits who move permanently to France do so to retire in the country, and are therefore mostly moving for lifestyle reasons.

Conversely, of the 154,800 French citizens living in the UK between 2013 and 2015, almost four in five (79 per cent) were of working age, with 85 per cent of these in employment or studying.

Many French expats living in the UK worked in the banking and finance sector, and two in three worked in “higher level professions”, which includes managers, directors and senior officials.
This report is part of a series of reports on migration between the UK and other EU member states published in the wake of the Brexit vote last year.

“This series of reports on migration between the UK and other EU countries shows how there is more to the data than the simple headline figures,” said Emma Rourke, ONS director for public policy analysis.

“This analysis shows that while overall numbers of UK and French citizens migrating between the two countries are similar, the reasons and experiences of the different groups within these migrant populations could be quite different.”

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