France country profile - BBC News

Some more interesting facts…

Approximately 20% of the French population live in Paris/île de France.

In a recent study Grenoble was ranked the most popular city for retirement. Tours & Angers were third would you believe.

Bourgoin-Jallieu was ranked the 8th best place to live in France !!! (Anyone who knows Bourgoin-Jallieu will tell you that is won’t win any beauty contests. But is that important ?) Villeneuve sur lot was ranked 256. Sarlet 179. Hmmmm. Dax was 15th.

Bretagne has the highest suicide rate.

Is living in an attractive environment important? Yes for some people, no for others. Different people, different priorities.

Fair point, but what if you are moving as a family to France with young children ?

The ranking of French ‘Villes’ in the study that I quoted from took into account a number of different criteria. Among which were, poverty, unemployment, number of students graduating with superior diplomas., salaries etc etc.

Now, Bergerac is a popular destination for expat families yet it is ranked 216 in France and did not score well at all in the above mentioned categories. So when moving to France with a family do you rate environment above prospects for your children when choosing a location ? Would people think twice about moving to the popular ‘expat’ destinations if they had better information on hand about these types of locations.

And bringing this back into context with the thread, the British media (BBC, newspapers, TV, LIVING IN FRANCE TYPE MAGAZINES !!!) don’t really have much of a clue about France and just report cliches all the time.


Just out of interest you quote numbers but they would be better expressed as a fraction. 216/217 is pretty bad, 216/1000 reasonable, 216/100,000 brilliant. Yet again, different families, even those with children, have different needs and tastes; I grew up in a small coastal town where we had to travel to most shops, garages, cinemas and the like whereas some of my cousins grew up in large towns. We were all content with our ‘lot’ and I wouldn’t have changed my home for anything. Even now, despite living in a rural location I am much closer to the shops that I need, including a boulanger and supermarket than my family who live in a large town. Each to his own there really isn’t a best fit for all.

So why do expats who move to France tend to move to the same destinations ? Why does the media tend only to focus on these types of areas when promoting France ?

Bergerac, Sarlet, Guéret, Brittany, Normandy , Carcassonne, Perpignan, Narbonne. All quite poor areas of France with high unemployment.

Here is the link if no one has seen it before.

I would suggest that people move to poor areas because of lack of research and cheap property.

If they like those areas and don’t need jobs then it’s possibly a wise move.

I agree. But also the British media.

Would a French person uproot their family and move to a very poor area of the UK for cheaper housing ?

I can only speak for myself. I chose my home because I fell for the area and found a great house in a great location. I’d presumed that most other people did the same thing. I’m sure that the minority move on the strength of a TV programme or two and that cheap, or good value property plays its part too but do you really believe that the majority of people are so fickle that they will move lock, stock and barrel to a foreign country without considering the pros and cons? I remember your post about visiting the Dordogne last year. You obviously have different tastes to many others if you did not find the department appealing. I do not live there but am close enough to visit often and I visit often because parts of it are delightful. But there again I also visit the Loire Valley and the Atlantic coast a lot but have no desire to settle in either of those places either. I made my choice and am more than content (which is more than I can say about when I moved to live in West Sussex) and I guess that the majority of British people in France are like me. That’s no different to choosing to live in a particular part of any country. Please don’t have a go at people who have followed their dream just because it is not the same as yours.

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There are thousands of Germans who either have holiday homes or have moved to Ireland. I’m sure that property prices were a main consideration for many of them too. I even know people who have bought in Florida for the very same reason. That seems bizarre to me but it’s their decision.

IMO The vast majority of French in the UK are there to work, equally Brits in France are here in search of a better lifestyle, work must be a secondary concern as it his much less likely you will progress your career unless you already have a job and have relocated and retained that job don’t you think?

We moved to France… to a place that suited us… where there were no other Brits … (at that time). We tried to keep the location secret, but some Brits have since discovered our little piece of heaven and they are gradually sneaking in…:wink:

I was very disappointed with the Dordogne (OH as well) I was expecting more. It was just another nice place in France. It was very pretty Ok, loverly countryside, but nothing more. Very touristy which must be a disadvantage I think ???

We also had a discussion about the Vosges region of France which offers the the same beauty and more to be fair at the same price of property !!!

So why is not the Vosges region as popular with the British ?

Is the better lifestyle to be found in rural areas or more in a prosperous town/city ?

The British seem to prefer the former and the French prefer the latter.

Who is right ?

Neither or both

Cards on the table, I would say rural but I prefer prosperous town/city. I can do both in fact. :smile:

Hi Mark

I think we are in the middle of another of those threads… where we start discussing who-prefers-what and who-is-right…:wink:
and, of course, there is no real answer …:relaxed:

Everyone does their own thing…according to personal choices etc etc… and that is what makes life so interesting…

In my view, France is a big enough country… to be able to satisfy even the most nit-picking person…if that person really wants to be here… :grinning:

I have French neighbours who are longing to retire to Portugal… for them, that is the dream…:blush:

No, no, no…to easy.

149 British living in the Vosges !!! 7000 in the Dordogne !

Bourgoin Jallieu (8th best place to live in France must be under 5 I reckon)

Mark… I do not understand your reply to my comment… about folk making their own choices…:slight_smile:

What are you trying to say…???

Are expats being manipulated (not sure that is the right word) into the locational decisions they make when moving to France ?

The Vosges and the Dordogne is very much the same. I would say (personally) the Vosges is slightly better. 149 expats living in the Vosges and 7000 in the Dordogne. That is a tad disproportionate.