Town hall
Town hall
Coat of arms of Sarcelles
Location (in red) within Paris inner and outer suburbs
Location (in red) within Paris inner and outer suburbs
Location of Sarcelles
Sarcelles is located in France
Sarcelles is located in Île-de-France (region)
Coordinates: 48°59′44″N 2°22′51″E / 48.9956°N 2.3808°E / 48.9956; 2.3808Coordinates: 48°59′44″N 2°22′51″E / 48.9956°N 2.3808°E / 48.9956; 2.3808
IntercommunalityCA Roissy Pays de France
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Patrick Haddad
8.45 km2 (3.26 sq mi)
 (Jan. 2019)[1]
 • Density7,000/km2 (18,000/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
95585 /95200
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Sarcelles (French pronunciation: ​[saʁ.sɛl]) is a commune in the northern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located 16.3 km (10.1 mi) from the centre of Paris. Sarcelles is a sub-prefecture of the Val-d'Oise department and the seat of the arrondissement of Sarcelles.

In the south of the commune, during the 1950s and 1960s, vast housing estates were built in order to accommodate pieds-noirs (French settlers from Algeria) and Jews who had left Algeria due to its war of independence. A few Jews from Egypt settled there after the Suez crisis, and Jews from Tunisia and Morocco settled in Sarcelles after unrest and riots against Jews due to the Six-Day War and to the Yom Kippur War.


Sarcelles is served by Garges–Sarcelles station on Paris RER line D.

It is also served by Sarcelles–Saint-Brice station on the Transilien Paris-Nord suburban rail line. This station, although administratively located on the territory of the neighbouring commune of Saint-Brice-sous-Forêt, lies in fact very near the town centre of Sarcelles.


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1793 1,600—    
1800 1,410−1.79%
1806 1,588+2.00%
1821 1,327−1.19%
1831 1,615+1.98%
1836 1,609−0.07%
1841 1,735+1.52%
1846 1,788+0.60%
1851 1,622−1.93%
1856 1,604−0.22%
1861 1,781+2.12%
1866 1,846+0.72%
1872 1,682−1.54%
1876 1,845+2.34%
1881 2,001+1.64%
1886 2,159+1.53%
1891 2,118−0.38%
1896 2,199+0.75%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1901 2,384+1.63%
1906 2,603+1.77%
1911 2,796+1.44%
1921 3,364+1.87%
1926 5,032+8.39%
1931 6,292+4.57%
1936 7,083+2.40%
1946 6,622−0.67%
1954 8,397+3.01%
1962 35,800+19.87%
1968 51,674+6.31%
1975 55,007+0.90%
1982 53,630−0.36%
1990 56,833+0.73%
1999 57,871+0.20%
2007 59,594+0.37%
2012 57,499−0.71%
2017 58,587+0.38%
Source: EHESS[2] and INSEE (1968-2017)[3]

As of 2015 the commune has about 40,000 residents from 40 backgrounds.[4]


A substantial number of inhabitants of the town are pieds-noirs from Northwest Africa who immigrated to France in the 1960s. Sarcelles is also home to a vibrant Jewish community and the largest concentration of Assyrians in France.[5]

Rahsaan Maxwell, author of Ethnic Minority Migrants in Britain and France: Integration Trade-Offs, stated that compared with other French communities, the ethnic minorities in Sarcelles have more influence, so therefore "Sarcelles should not be considered representative of cities across metropolitan France".[6] Residents believe that there is a "Sarcelles identity," meaning any ethnic group can be a part of the city, and they believe it lowers levels of crime and violence.[7]

Compared with other parts of France, ethnic minorities in Sarcelles gained political power at a faster rate, with gains made in the 1980s instead of the 1990s and 2000s. Many politicians responded to minority demands sooner as many immigrants, especially Caribbeans and Sephardic Jews, had French citizenship. François Pupponi, the mayor in the 2000s dedicated monuments commemorating the histories of ethnic groups,[7] authorised funding of organisations supporting specific ethnic groups such as running Arabic and Hindi language classes[6] and permitted the use of public facilities for religious events.[8] Pupponi argued that this style is the best method of giving many ethnic groups one sense of community.[6] Critics argued that funding groups catering to specific ethnic groups promotes segregation.[7]

Place of birth of residents of Sarcelles in 1999
Born in metropolitan France Born outside metropolitan France
61.5% 38.5%
Born in
overseas France
Born in foreign countries with French citizenship at birth1 EU-15 immigrants2 Non-EU-15 immigrants
5.7% 5.9% 2.4% 24.5%
1 This group is made up largely of former French settlers, such as Pieds-Noirs in Northwest Africa, followed by former colonial citizens who had French citizenship at birth (such as was often the case for the native elite in French colonies), as well as to a lesser extent foreign-born children of French expatriates. Note that a foreign country is understood as a country not part of France in 1999, so a person born for example in 1950 in Algeria, when Algeria was an integral part of France, is nonetheless listed as a person born in a foreign country in French statistics.

2 An immigrant is a person born in a foreign country not having French citizenship at birth. Note that an immigrant may have acquired French citizenship since moving to France, but is still considered an immigrant in French statistics. On the other hand, persons born in France with foreign citizenship (the children of immigrants) are not listed as immigrants.


As of 2008, 8.7% of the population was of Caribbean origin.[9] As of 2012, many of the ethnic Caribbean residents have French citizenship.[7]

By the 1970s, Afro-Caribbeans became more interested in changing politics. By the 1980s, Guy Guyoubli, a local activist, organised an almost all-Caribbean protest list. Maxwell wrote that this demonstrated that Caribbeans had serious intentions of participating in the political system, even though there were no representatives elected from the lists.[10] At the time, ethnic minorities across Metropolitan France were increasingly trying to influence the political system.[10] The city's first ever two Caribbean councillors were elected in 1989. Around 1989, Raymond Lamontagne, the mayor, opened Metropolitan France's first ever Caribbean-orientated, council-funded community centre.[7]

Maghrebian Muslims

See also: Maghrebian community of Paris

In the 1950s and 1960s, Maghrebians began to arrive in Sarcelles. Political organisation came in subsequent decades. Originally, the Muslims worshipped in converted makeshift areas, but, later, purpose-built mosques appeared. In the 1990s, Maghrebians were first elected to the commune council. Maxwell wrote that Maghrebians began obtaining "key positions" only in the vicinity of 2012 due to "low turnout and weak community organisations".[11]

Assyrian and Chaldean

Memorial to the 1915 Assyrian and Chaldean genocide
Memorial to the 1915 Assyrian and Chaldean genocide

A memorial to Assyro-Chaldean victims of the 1915 Assyrian genocide was dedicated in 2005.[6] Part of the film The Last Assyrians features the Assyrian and Chaldean community.

Sephardic Jews

Sarcelles gained a large population of Sephardic Jews as a consequence of the post-World War II Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries. Today, most of the Jewish residents have French citizenship.[7]

During the peak immigration of Sephardic Jews, they subscribed to a belief in assimilation and secularism and they had the North African belief of what Michel Wieviorka and Philippe Bataille, authors of The Lure of Anti-Semitism: Hatred of Jews in Present-Day France, describe as "a structuring role" that "does not cover all aspects of social life".[12] Beginning in the 1980s, religion became more public and important, and Wieviorka and Bataille stated that the previous North African practice is "becoming mixed up with the neo-Orthodox practices of the 'young people' for whom religion controls everything."[12]

In 1983, there was a wave of councillors who were Sephardic Jews.[7]


See also: 2014 Sarcelles riots

In 2012, Maxwell stated that "petty crime" and vandalism had become consistent issues and that "violent confrontations" between black migrants, Maghrebians and Jews was "a recurring theme".[7] He added that, by 2012, the commune had "developed a reputation as one of the more dangerous Paris suburbs."[7] Maxwell wrote that local residents told him that the reputation was overblown.[7]

Maxwell wrote that, during the 2005 French riots, a report concluded that the damage to buildings in Sarcelles was "relatively moderate" and that a later report concluded that, compared with most cities, Sarcelles had fewer days of severe riots.[7] He also stated that local residents characterised the damage as "not as bad as elsewhere and not as bad as one might have expected given Sarcelles's economic and ethnic profile."[7]

International relations

Direction of the nearest twin town
Direction of the nearest twin town

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in France

Twin towns – sister cities

Sarcelles is twinned with:[13]

Co-operation agreement


The commune has 19 public écoles maternelles (pre-schools/nurseries),[15] 21 public écoles primaires (primary schools),[16] six public collèges (junior high schools), two public lycées (senior high schools/sixth-form colleges), and two other educational institutions.[17]

The Bibliothèque intercommunale Anna Langfus is located in Sarcelles.[18] This library has over 60,000 items and is divided between an adults' section and a children's section.[19] In addition the Espace Musique Mel Bonis is in Sarcelles.[20]

Notable people

See also

The church, classified as a historic monument
The church, classified as a historic monument


  1. ^ "Populations légales 2019". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 29 December 2021.
  2. ^ Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui: Commune data sheet Sarcelles, EHESS. (in French)
  3. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE
  4. ^ "Sarcelles, ville ghetto ou cité modèle ?". France Télévisions. 2015-03-04. Retrieved 2016-09-14. "A 15 kilomètres de Paris, Sarcelles ses 40 000 habitants et ses 40 communautés différentes,[...]"
  5. ^ Wieviorka and Bataille, p. 166-167. "The ChaldoAssyrian Community What saved Sarcelles and rid it of the reputation associated with 'Sarcel-litis was undoubtedly due to its Jewish population which, unaware of the drawbacks of concrete urbanisation, emphasised the positive[....]"
  6. ^ a b c d Maxwell, Ethnic Minority Migrants in Britain and France: Integration Trade-Offs, p. 171.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Maxwell, Ethnic Minority Migrants in Britain and France: Integration Trade-Offs, p. 170.
  8. ^ Maxwell, Ethnic Minority Migrants in Britain and France: Integration Trade-Offs, p. 170-171.
  9. ^ Maxwell, Rahsaan Daniel. Tensions and Tradeoffs: Ethnic Minority Migrant Integration in Britain and France. ProQuest, 2008. p. 197. ISBN 0549874585, 9780549874584.
  10. ^ a b Maxwell, Ethnic Minority Migrants in Britain and France: Integration Trade-Offs, p. 172.
  11. ^ Maxwell, Ethnic Minority Migrants in Britain and France: Integration Trade-Offs, p. 179.
  12. ^ a b Wieviorka and Bataille, p. 165.
  13. ^ "Jumelages". (in French). Sarcelles. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  14. ^ Karabakh's Martakert and Sarcelles sign cooperation agreement
  15. ^ "Les écoles maternelles." Sarcelles. Retrieved on May 22, 2017.
  16. ^ "Les écoles primaires." Sarcelles. Retrieved on May 22, 2017.
  17. ^ "Jeunesse (11-25) Équipements scolaires superieurs." Sarcelles. Retrieved on May 22, 2017.
  18. ^ "Bibliothèque intercommunale Anna Langfus à Sarcelles." Val de France. Retrieved on 3 June 2014. "Bibliothèque intercommunale Anna Langfus 37 Boulevard Bergson 95200 Sarcelles"
  19. ^ "Bibliothèque Anna Langfus." Val de France. Retrieved on 3 June 2014. "Bibliothèque Intercommunale Anna Langfus 37 boulevard Henri Bergson (2ème étage) 95200 Sarcelles"
  20. ^ "Espace Musique Mel Bonis." Val de France Intercommunal Libraries. Retrieved on June 3, 2014. "Espace musique Mel Bonis à Sarcelles 1, Place de Navarre, Les Flanades 95200 Sarcelles"
  21. ^ Jonathan Assous,