Happiness

Great article in Midi Libre this morning about where France and particularly Languedoc rate in the happiness stakes:


http://www.midilibre.fr/2013/03/19/l-equation-du-bien-etre,662760.php


Overall, France one behind the UK and one ahead of Spain, yet Languedoc is only 15th/16th of 22 regions.


Perhaps I'm biased, but I wouldn't put UK above Spain or France and I wouldn't think Languedoc should be so low down.


What does everyone else think?

yes, not quite the same climate but much quieter and all my OH's familly are here (except for the Carcassonne contingent who want to come back to the aveyron as they've had enough of the crime and general attitude, but all there business interests are there now after 18 years so they'll have to wait for retirement now!) It works for us for weekends and holidays ;-)

true it is much cheaper just over the hills and stunning scenery, but I do love Herault, the villages are beautiful, it's on on the coast so out of season the beaches are fabulous and I think if you stay away from the big cities (although Montpellier does have charm and many positive merits) there are some great places to bring up children without much crime at all.

Beziers is one of those places like Avignon where there are some great and wonderful parts and some not so great areas - but that's like anywhere really - when you live somewhere you see it for all of it's good, bad and ugly.

For me, the good in the L-R still makes it a great place to live and I'm happy to bring the kids up in our area although I do expect that if we are still here in 15 years time - they will fly the nest and move elsewhere as there's not much to do for ado's.

Good facts and figures there, and like you say, it depends on who you ask.

And ask me on a day when I'm watching the Police Municipal search the kids' school buses yet again for drugs (I think they call it s**t, excuse the French), then I might have a different opinion. Mind you, maybe I'm shallow, but it all seems better when the sun is out!!

We love the weather I suppose - each month we say we'll go further back inland and live on a farm. Then the sun comes out, we smell the sea on the breeze, look up at that big blue big sky and think, hey, maybe next year. We look to the north and there's always clouds on those mountains - we look towards the sea, and there's always sunshine (well, most days anyway)!

Despite the great weather, if you don't mind the tramontane that is, it remains an area that attracts so many from the norht of France and elsewhere when there simply aren't the jobs for them. Crime is very high compared to just over the hills in the Aveyron, Lozère or the Tarn, house prices are high too as soon as you approach the more attractive towns (job wise that is). I love the hérault, had a house there, still have a boat there but wouldn't want my kids to grow up in many parts of Languedoc-Roussillon. Find me a decently priced place in the arrière pays and jobs to go with it and we'll be down there, can't have both though...!

PS viewpoint on L-R compared with other regions, NOT compared to the UK - there's no competition there ;-)

France performs very well in many measures of well-being, as shown by the fact that it ranks among the top ten countries in several topics in the Better Life Index.

Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards. In France, the average person earns 27 789 USD a year, more than the OECD average of 22 387 USD a year. But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn more than four times as much as the bottom 20%.

In terms of employment, some 64% of people aged 15 to 64 in France have a paid job, below the OECD employment average of 66%. Some 68% of men are in paid work, compared with 60% of women. People in France work 1 554 hours a year, less than most people in the OECD who work 1 749 hours. Almost 9% of employees work very long hours, in line with the OECD average, with 12% of men working very long hours compared with 5% for women.

Having a good education is an important requisite for finding a job. In France, 70% of adults aged 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree, close to the OECD average of 74%. There is little difference between men and women, as 71% of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 69% of women. In terms of the quality of the education system, the average student scored 497 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), in line with the OECD average. On average in France, girls outperformed boys by 7 points, close to the average OECD gap of 9 points.

In terms of health, life expectancy at birth in France is almost 81 years, higher than the OECD average of 80 years. Life expectancy for women is 85 years, compared with 78 for men. The level of atmospheric PM10 – tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs –is 13 micrograms per cubic meter, considerably lower than the OECD average of 22 micrograms per cubic meter. France performs somewhat less well in terms of water quality, as 80% of people say they are satisfied with the quality of their water, below the OECD average of 84%.

Concerning the public sphere, there is a strong sense of community and high levels of civic participation in France, where 92% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, higher than the OECD average of 91%. Voter turnout, a measure of public trust in government and of citizens’ participation in the political process, was 84% during recent elections, higher than the OECD average of 73%. Social and economic status can affect voting rates; voter turnout for the top 20% of the population is 91% and for the bottom 20% it is 80%, much wider than the OECD average gap of 7% and suggesting there is room for broader social inclusion in France’s democratic institutions

In general, French people are more satisfied with their lives than the OECD average, with 83% of people saying they have more positive experiences in an average day (feelings of rest, pride in accomplishment, enjoyment, etc) than negative ones (pain, worry, sadness, boredom, etc). This figure is slightly higher than the OECD average of 80%.

The United Kingdom performs very well in overall well-being, as shown by the fact that it ranks among the top countries in several topics in the Better Life Index.

Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards. In the United Kingdom, the average person earns 26 552 USD a year, more than the OECD average of 22 387 USD a year. But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn six times as much as the bottom 20%.

In terms of employment, over 70% of people aged 15 to 64 in the United Kingdom have a paid job, above the OECD employment average of 66%. Some 75% of men are in paid work, compared with 65% of women. People in the United Kingdom work 1647 hours a year, less than most people in the OECD who work 1749 hours. Almost 12% of employees work very long hours, higher than the OECD average of 9%, with 17% of men working very long hours compared with just 6% for women.

Having a good education is an important requisite for finding a job. In the United Kingdom, 74% of adults aged 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree, close to the OECD average. This is truer of men than women, as 77% of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 70% of women. This difference is higher than the OECD average and suggests women’s participation in higher education could be strengthened. In terms of the quality of the educational system, the average student scored 500 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), slightly higher than the OECD average of 497. On average in the United Kingdom, girls outperformed boys by 2 points, less than the average OECD gap of 9 points.

In terms of health, life expectancy at birth in the United Kingdom is 80 years, in line with the OECD average. Life expectancy for women is 82 years, compared with 79 for men. The level of atmospheric PM10 – tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs –is 13 micrograms per cubic meter, considerably lower than the OECD average of 22 micrograms per cubic meter. The United Kingdom also does well in terms of water quality, as 97% of people say they are satisfied with the quality of their water.

Concerning the public sphere, there is a strong sense of community and a moderate level of civic participation in the United Kingdom, where 96% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, higher than the OECD average of 91%. Voter turnout, a measure of public trust in government and of citizens’ participation in the political process, was 61% during recent elections. This figure is lower than the OECD average of 73%. Social and economic status can affect voting rates; voter turnout for the top 20% of the population is 64% and for the bottom 20% it is 51%, broader than the OECD average gap of 7% and suggesting there is room for broader social inclusion in the United Kingdom’s democratic institutions.

In general, people in the United Kingdom are more satisfied with their lives than the OECD average, with 85% of people saying they have more positive experiences in an average day (feelings of rest, pride in accomplishment, enjoyment, etc) than negative ones (pain, worry, sadness, boredom, etc). This figure is higher than the OECD average of 80%.

Agree with you Alain - I guess it depends on who they asked, how they asked it and what they asked!

Whilst the major cities in Languedoc have suffered with crime i.e. Nimes - I'm not aware there is a problem in any of the smaller towns and villages. Unemployment is typically high in the South as a lot of people work seasonally. From what I've seen/heard around usthough generally people accept this and they work in the Summer and are unemployed in Winter.

According to L'Express Quality de Vie - places in LR were voted highly for Healthcare, Reasonable priced housing and also Employment opportunities in 2012. http://www.lexpress.fr/emploi-carriere/emploi/le-palmares-des-50-vi....

Also interesting is the OECD - Better life index which summarises well being across countries - here for example are the results for France, UK, Spain, Germany.

Income Jobs Housing Work-life balance Health Education Community Civic engagement Environment Safety Life Satisfaction
COUNTRY Households’ income Household financial wealth Employment rate Personal earnings Job security Long-term unemployment rate Rooms per person Housing expenditure Dwellings with basic facilities Employees working very long hours Time devoted to leisure and personal care Life expectancy Self-reported health Educational attainment Years in education Students’ skills Social network Consultation on rule-making Voter turn-out Water quality Air pollution Homicide rate Assault rate Life Satisfaction
France 27789 USD 44353 USD 64% 37229 USD 9.02% 3.74% 1.8 rooms 21% 99.30% 8.63% 15.33 hours 81.4 years 68% 70% 16.5 years 497 score 92% 3.5 index 84% 80% 13 micrograms 1.3 homicides 4.95% 7 rate
Germany 27692 USD 41695 USD 71% 38251 USD 7.79% 3.34% 1.8 rooms 22% 98.40% 5.14% 15.31 hours 80.5 years 65% 85% 17.7 years 510 score 95% 4.5 index 78% 96% 16 micrograms 0.8 homicides 3.60% 6.7 rate
Spain 23541 USD 22684 USD 59% 32454 USD 10.77% 9.04% 1.9 rooms 20% 100% 6.66% 15.85 hours 82.2 years 74% 52% 16.9 years 484 score 94% 7.3 index 75% 81% 28 micrograms 0.9 homicides 4.18% 6.5 rate
United Kingdom 26552 USD 59923 USD 70% 44008 USD 6.89% 2.53% 1.8 rooms 23% 99.50% 11.71% 14.83 hours 80.4 years 76% 74% 16.3 years 500 score 96% 11.5 index 61% 97% 13 micrograms 1.2 homicides 1.93% 6.9 rate

Interesting reading. I've added the spreadsheet below as the summary gets cut off...but on this it shows France being the highest of the 4 for Life Satisfaction (although marginal of course).

...so low down because of the high crime and unemployment rates :-(