Paris has long been a diverse city. From the rural French migrating to the city in the 19th century, the southern Europeans in the 20th century, to migrants from outside Europe after WWII and the dismantling of the French Empire, Paris has been a melting pot for successive waves of in-migrants, whatever their social and economic status. To this day, it has a higher rate of foreign-born (20%) in comparison with the rest of the country (8.4%).
Paris is nevertheless a divided city. The south-western area has some of the highest income rates in the country whilst the north-eastern part has disadvantaged areas with high levels of unemployment. However, the north-eastern area has been attracting middle-to upper middle class inhabitants and is currently undergoing gentrification.
The 18th and 19th districts situated in the north eastern part were previously the industrial and craft areas of Paris and still has the lowest median income level (€18,050, €16,179) in the city (€24,623) . There is a concentration of “priority neighbourhoods” that are the target of local and national urban renewal and social cohesion programmes (“city policies”).
The selected neighbourhoods are Goutte d’or and Chapelle in the 18th district, and Flandres, in the 19th district. These areas have a high concentration of mixed, social and private low-rental housing. There are higher rates of foreign-born, unemployed and young people than the average Parisian population. With its long tradition of receiving newcomers since the 19th century, Goutte d’or has the highest rate of foreign-born (36,9%) and Flandres the largest increase of foreign-born over the past six years.