A banlieue is the term given for suburban areas surrounding French cities. While these suburbs represent populations of various socioeconomic strata, the term banlieue is often used to refer specifically to low income neighborhoods of immigrants and their descendants, which differs from an American conception of a suburb as a space of upward mobility. These low-income neighborhoods are subject to high levels of unemployment, high crime, poor educational completion rates, high drug use, and reports of heightened security surveillance and control, where tensions have mounted and occasionally spilled over into protest.


Henri Astier, “French Muslims face job discrimination,” BBC News, November 2, 2005, accessed March 28, 2014.

See also: France