Where the French do and don’t want to live

A new survey has revealed in which regions the French would love to live and also where they’d rather avoid.

Where the French do and don’t want to live
Photo: AFP

France is a desirable place to live but some parts of the country are clearly more desirable than others.

When it comes to where the French want to live most of all, the south west region of Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées tops the polls.

And apparently plenty of French are acting on their desires, with the region taking in 50,000 new residents, according to the newspaper Midi-Pyrennees.

The south western region is home to the Pyrénnees mountains and also has large stretch of Mediterranean coastline, hence its popularity.

The region, one of the new ones created in last year’s controversial territorial rejigging, won a slightly bigger share of the vote than Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur.

And just behind the region, which is home to the French Riviera and the spectacular Alps, came Brittany.

The region to the west of France also had the highest satisfaction levels among the residents, with 95 percent of those asked perfectly happy with life in Brittany.

They compared to only 73 percent in the Ile de France, which is home to the French capital.

However at the other end of the scale came Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie, which is officially, or at least according to the poll, the least desirable region in France to live.

It’s perhaps not surprising then that 55 percent of the residents in Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie believe the quality of life in their region has deteriorated.

In 11th place came Bourgogne-Franche-Comté and in 12th Centre-Val-de-Loire.

“The French show a clear preference for the south, where the climate is warmer and for the Atlantic coast because they appreciate the sea and nature,” the poll concluded.

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French town of Nantes votes for referendum on exiting Pays-de-la-Loire region

The French city of Nantes is to hold a referendum on exiting the Pays-de-la-Loire region and becoming part of Brittany instead.

French town of Nantes votes for referendum on exiting Pays-de-la-Loire region
Photo: AFP

On Friday the town council of Nantes voted in favour of requesting the French government organise a referendum so local people can have their say about whether they wish to remain in the Pays-de-la-Loire region or become part of Brittany – a region that many say the town has more historic and cultural connections to.

The vote on Friday was carried by 56 votes and concerns whether the département of Loire-Atlantique – which contains Nantes – should move regions.

READ ALSO The 20 essential maps you need to understand Brittany


The vote follows a petition in 2018 which gathered 105,000 signatures.

Nantes mayor Johanna Rolland said: “This strong citizen mobilisation cannot be ignored. It reflects the aspiration of our fellow citizens to be consulted to a greater extent, in a context of essential revitalisation of our democracy.”

The desire of people in the Loire-Atlantique to become Breton isn't new.
The départment was part of Brittany until World War II, when it was separated and made part of the neighbouring region by the Vichy government. That region eventually became the Pays-de-la-Loire in 1955.
The issue has been simmering since then and pro-Breton voices have become louder in recent years as they hope to take advantage of a law that allows départments to chose which region they belong to via a referendum.
The town, which is the historic seat of the Dukes of Brittany, also declared its intention to  “set up a permanent pluralist body to engage in a genuine consultation with the State on the organisation of this referendum, organise an in-depth debate on the issues and consequences of a redistribution in order to feed the citizen debate, and formulate proposals to strengthen cooperation between Nantes and the other Breton territories”. 
However the referendum will have to be approved by both the national government and the regional authorities.

France's regions were reorganised in 2016 and several were merged to create the current 13 regions of mainland France.

Brittany currently covers four départements – Ille-et-Vilaine, Côtes-d'Armor, Finistère and Morbihan – while Pays-de-la-Loire covers Loire-Atlantique, Maine-et-Loire, Mayenne, Sarthe and Vendée. Nantes is currently the largest town in the region.