Monday, January 04, 2010
So, how many UK ex-pats live in the Cognac region?
I've always wondered and now I know thanks to this report from INSEE.
There are a total population of 91,000 in the area they define as the cognac region of whom 991 are UK ex-pats. I don't know if this sounds a little or a lot - at 1% it certainly doesn't feel like a huge amount (France has an overall 6% of population who are "foreigners").
What I do know is that it certainly doesn't seem like too many and we have never encountered any kind of racism or negative feeling. Indeed it's the opposite as our French friends seem to embrace the friendly rivalry when it comes to sporting events (particularly rugby) and our children were welcomed into the local school with open arms back in 2003.
Nobody really seems to look upon us as "les Anglais" anymore.
We're "les Downies", a part of the community just like "les Martins", "les Guerins" and the rest of our friends and neighbours.
Anyway, the next time one of my clients asks if there are many Brits around here I'll be able to say it's 991.
Right up until someone dies, has a baby or moves out.