• France's news in English
Paris is 'world's cheapest city for young people'
Young people in Paris shouldn't be complaining if one survey is to be believed. Photo: Lucian Milasan/Shutterstock.com

Paris is 'world's cheapest city for young people'

The Local · 10 Nov 2014, 16:30

Published: 10 Nov 2014 16:30 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"Paris" and "affordable" are not two words that anyone, let alone young people, would normally put in the same sentence – not when you consider that the price of a pint can hit €10 and a ham and cheese baguette can top €5.

Nevertheless, in the Youthful Cities Affordability Index Toronto-based group Decode ranked 25 of the world’s largest cities according to various factors to find the most affordable and Paris has come out on top, ahead of the likes of Berlin and Rome.

The criteria included everything from wage levels and rent prices to the cost of burgers. Since young adults often rely on entry-level jobs to enter the labour market, the report compared costs to an hour of minimum wage work as the best way to measure a city’s affordability.

And when the scores in each category were added up it was the City of Light that came out on top as being most affordable for people between the ages of 15 and 29, ahead of Toronto in second place and Los Angeles in third.

Despite usually being thought of as an affordable city and topping four categories, Berlin was let down by its lower minimum wage.

The report concluded: “We know affordability is the top priority for young people. And the results of this index prove the important role that a fair minimum wage plays in a city’s overall affordability. Paris, the most affordable city, sits in the top spot largely because of its high base wage.

“In fact, each of the top five cities in this index has seen minimum wage become a hot button political issue recently. But a fair minimum wage is just one way municipal governments can make cities more affordable for the important youth demographic.”

For those of you still refusing to believe Paris could top such a survey, here's why it did:

  • With €9.53 per hour, Paris has the highest minimum wage of all the cities covered in the study, topping Berlin in second place and Rome in third. “Even with local cries about it being too small, it’s hard to criticise the wage in Paris, considering the range of minimums observed around the world,” the report said.

  • When it comes to the cost of movie tickets for young people, the same cities are ranked in the top three, with Rome in first place this time and Paris in third. In Paris, you can afford a ticket after exactly one hour of work earning the minimum wage. For comparison, to buy one in Nairobi you’d need to work nearly 50 hours.
  • Musical entertainment also contributes to a city’s liveability. The cheapest concert tickets are found in Berlin, leaving Paris in second place with 5.65 hours of work required on average to pay for a ticket.
  • The title for lowest rent prices goes to Berlin, but with Paris ranked in sixth place the City of Light doesn't score too badly either. The decent position in the table is also due to subsidies that are available to students in France. “Affordability rules post secondary education, as students across France can access the APL housing subsidy. It’s available to all students, whether a citizen of France, the EU or otherwise,” the study notes.
  • With 7.99 hours of work needed to buy a monthly transport pass Paris sits in fourth place when it comes to the affordability of public of transport. However it still lags well behind the leader Buenos Aires, where only 2.62 hours of work at the minimum wage are needed. The report also says young people in Paris benefit from the city's bike sharing scheme. "Youth in Paris can take advantage of reduced rates for the popular, privately owned Vélib' bike sharing program, as well as cheaper municipal public transit fares on all weekends," the report says.
  • Burger lovers out there will be glad to hear that Paris is the second cheapest place to eat fast food, coming in just behind Berlin.

  • Berlin also tops the list for the cost of a dozen eggs, with Paris in fourth place.

  • Story continues below…

    Fast and affordable travel out of the city is apparently one of the top urban priorities for young people. In the ranking for cheap getaway flights Istanbul topped the list, with Paris again in a respectable third place. After 16.51 hours working at the minimum wage, you’ve earned enough to hop on the next flight for a weekend getaway.

by Simone Flückiger

Are you a young person in Paris? Is it really that affordable?

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Jungle shacks set ablaze and torn down as camp razed
All photos: AFP

IN PICTURES: The razing of the Jungle has finally begun.

Frenchwoman finds WW1 grenade among her spuds
Photo: AFP

It could have been a very explosive family dinner.

Refugee crisis
What rights to a future in France for Calais migrants?
Photo: AFP

What does the future hold for the migrants of the Jungle? Can they work or claim social benefits or travel freely inside Europe?

Pampers nappies 'contain carcinogenics': French study
Photo: Robert Valencia/Flick

The substances in the nappies are meant to prevent skin irritation but are cancerous, the study concludes.

France to scrap special prison wings for dangerous jihadists
Photo: AFP

The experiment has been ditched.

Myth busting: Half of French adults are now overweight
A model at the Pulp Fiction fashion show in Paris that represents society's diverse spectrum . Photo: AFP

Hold on, aren't the French all meant to be finely toned specimens with not an ounce of fat on them?

France poised to send bulldozers into Calais Jungle
Photo: AFP

As hundreds of migrants leave, the bulldozers are set to tear down the sprawling Calais shanty town on Tuesday.

UK to spend €40 million on securing Calais border
Photo: AFP

Britain spending big on security in Calais.

Millionaire Riviera hotel boss kidnapped in broad daylight
The city of Nice where the millionaire was bundled into a car infront of shocked onlookers. Photo: AFP

The millionaire head of a luxury hotel in the French Riviera resort of Cannes was kidnapped in Nice in front of shocked onlookers in the middle of the day on Monday.

Where exactly in France are Calais migrants being sent?
Photo: AFP

Here's where the 8,000 migrants in Calais are heading.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available