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Rennes the best city for foreigners in France: A look at the data

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Rennes the best city for foreigners in France: A look at the data
Photo: AFP
15:23 CEST+02:00
The Local has tried to determine what city in France is the best for foreigners to live in in terms of quality of life. Here's a look at the data behind it.

Which city in France is the best for foreigners to live in, when it comes to all-round quality of life?

 

By our calculations it was Rennes, in Brittany. Before you ask where Paris came, the answer is fifth.

 

The full list of categories we looked at were: International air links, rail links, average monthly rent, unemployment rate, hours of annual sunshine, nightlife, distance to the beach, number of Michelin restaurants, best or easiest accent to understand, number of cultural sites/activities, greenest city, air quality, percentage of singles in the city, number of regional or national parks within two hours drive, and quality of public transport.

 

Full rankings: 

Rennes: 128

Nantes: 122

Bordeaux: 120

Toulouse: 115

Paris: 114

Lyon: 111

Montpellier: 107

Nice: 104

Grenoble: 102

Lille: 101

Marseille: 92

Clermont-Ferrand: 91

Strasbourg: 87

For each category we looked at an existing study and ranked the cities from 13 for the best down to one for the worst.

In some cases there were ties so the cities received the same points.

 

1. Air links

Number of international flight destinations

(All official airport websites)

 

13: Paris: 312, 2 international airports, plus Beauvais

12: Bordeaux: 126

11: Nantes: 90

10: Lyon: 84

9: Nice: 75

8: Toulouse: 66

7: Marseille: 64

6: Rennes: 59

5: Lille: 33

4: Montpellier: 20

3: Strasbourg: 13

2: Grenoble: 11

1: Clermont-Ferrand: 5 (no English-speaking countries)

 

2. Rail links

TGV line, journey time/number of trains to Paris daily

(Worked out from the SNCF website)

13: Paris: Obviously Paris has the best rail links in the country, serving national and international destinations.

12: Lille: TGV, 1 hr to Paris, 24 per day

11: Lyon: TGV, 2hrs to Paris, 29 per day

10: Rennes: TGV , 2 hrs 15 mins to Paris, 26 per day

9: Nantes: TGV, 2 hrs 15 mins to Paris, 22 per day

8: Strasbourg: TGV, 2.5 hrs to Paris, 16 per day

7: Bordeaux: TGV, 3 hrs 15 mins to Paris, 33 per day

6: Marseille: TGV, 3.5 hrs to Paris, 21 per day

5: Grenoble: TGV, 3 hrs to Paris, 9 per day

4: Montpellier: TGV, 3.5 hrs to Paris, 16 per day

3: Nice: TGV, 5.5 hrs to Paris, 12 per day

2: Toulouse: TGV, around 6 hours to Paris, 14 per day

1: Clermont-Ferrand: no TGV, 3.5 hrs to Paris, 7 regular trains per day

 

3. Average Monthly Rent

From the site: http://blog.locservice.fr/observatoire-locservice-2016-les-principaux-chiffres-du-marche-locatif-francais-3037.html

The average monthly rental for a French home is €624 ($678), according to online renting portal LocService.

The stats are based on the 65,500 homes rented out across the country via the website during 2015. Using the same site, here is cheapest to most expensive.

 

13: Clermont-Ferrand - €462

12: Rennes - €470

11: Nantes - €519

10: Grenoble - €533

9: Lille - €554

8: Toulouse - €581

7: Strasbourg - €591

6: Montpellier - €595

5: Bordeaux - €629

4: Marseille - €630

3: Lyon - €654

2: Nice - €685

1: Paris: €1,014

 

4. Best place to work/unemployment rate

 

Site: www.insee.fr

 

Unemployment rate by city with data from last three months of 2015

 

13: Rennes: 8.0 percent

12: Grenoble: 8.3 percent

11: Nantes: 8.4 percent

10: Clermont-Ferrand - 8.7 percent

9: Paris: 8.8 percent

8. Lyon: 9.2 percent

7: Bordeaux: 10 percent

6: Strasbourg: 10.3 percent

6: Toulouse: 10.3 percent

4: Nice 10.6 percent

3: Lille: 10.9 percent

2: Marseille: 12.6 percent

1: Montpellier: 13.2 percent

 

5. Hours of sunshine (best to worst)

https://www.currentresults.com/Weather/France/annual-days-of-sunshine.php

 

13: Marseille - 2,858

12: Nice - 2,724

11: Montpellier - 2,668

10: Grenoble - 2,066

9: Bordeaux - 2,035

8: Toulouse - 2,031

7: Lyon -2,002

6: Clermont-Ferrand - 1,913

5: Nantes - 1,791

4: Rennes - 1,717

3: Strasbourg - 1,693

2: Paris - 1,662

1: Lille - 1,617

 

6. Best nightlife

 

Study by FranceLive.fr, based on bars in PagesJaunes.fr, Number of inhabitants per bar

 

13: Clermont-Ferrand: 1401

12: Lille: 1440

11: Rennes: 1670

10: Bordeaux: 1672

9: Grenoble: 1691

8: Nantes: 1727

7: Lyon: 1767

6: Paris: 1964

5: Montpellier: 2237

4: Strasbourg: 2405

3: Nice: 2454

2: Marseille: 2492

1: Toulouse: 2614

 

7. Kilometres to the coast (best to worst)

13: Nice - 0 km (one of two coastal cities, but much better beaches)

12: Marseille - 0 km (bad beaches)

11: Montpellier - 8 km to the south

10: Nantes - 43km to Pornic on the west coast.

9: Bordeaux - 50 km to the west coast

8: Rennes - 54 km to Cherrueix on the north coast

7: Lille - 62 km to Bray-Dunes on north coast (special mention: 61 km to De Panne, in Belgium!)

6: Toulouse - 140 km to the south

5: Paris: 150 km to north coast, Dieppe

4: Grenoble - 209 km to Cannes, south coast

3: Clermont-Ferrand - 259 km to the south coast

2: Lyon - 260 km to the south coast

1: Strasbourg - 488 km to the northern coast

 

8. Number of Michelin-starred restaurants

http://restaurant.michelin.fr/

 

13: Paris: 92

12: Lyon: 15

11: Marseille: 6

11: Strasbourg: 6

9: Clermont-Ferrand: 4

9: Nice: 4

7: Toulouse: 3

7: Bordeaux: 3

5: Montpellier: 2

4: Nantes: 1

4: Lille: 1

4: Rennes: 1

1: Grenoble: 0

 

9. Best accent

We worked this out by a combination of two studies or rankings that we accept are by no means watertight. 

http://www.lepoint.fr/insolite/l-accent-toulousain-est-le-plus-sexy-de-france-28-01-2013-1620965_48.php

http://www.topito.com/top-accents-regional-sexy-chti

 

13: Toulouse - First on Topito (12 percent), 70.2 percent on Parship thought charming

12: Nice - Provencal accent scored second on Topito (10 percent)

11: Nantes - Breton accent scored third on topito breton, and 26 percent on Parship found it "intelligent"

11: Rennes- Breton accent scored third on topito breton, and 26 percent on Parship found it "intelligent"

9: Paris - Fourth on Topito (8 percent)

8: Clermont-Ferrand (No info from the 2 studies) Neutral

8: Bordeaux (No info from the 2 studies) Neutral

8: Grenoble (No info from the 2 studies) Neutral

8: Montpellier (No info from the 2 studies) Similar to Marseille?

4: Strasbourg - Alsacien, 8th

3: Lyon - ninth topito

2: Lille 5th topito, 74 percent find Chti funny

1: Marseille 72.2 of Parship thought it was funny.

 

10. Cultural sites and activities

Trip Advisor “Sights and Landmarks” + Museums

Museums, churches, cathedrals, sacred/religious sites, historic sites, monuments/statues, cemeteries, castles

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g187147-Activities-c47-Paris_Ile_de_France.html

13: Paris: 628

12: Nice: 87

11: Marseille: 83

10: Lyon: 80

9: Bordeaux: 71

8: Strasbourg: 69

7: Toulouse: 54

6: Lille: 49

5: Montpellier: 37

4: Nantes: 36

3: Grenoble: 23

2: Rennes: 20

2: Clermont-Ferrand: 20

 

11. Greenest city

http://www.lesentreprisesdupaysage.fr/files/Dossier-fichiers/DP-Palmares-Unep-des-villes-les-plus-vertes-de-France-2014-1.pdf

Green space per inhabitant. Green space data from tourism websites, INSEE population data

 

On average, France’s big cities have:

- 31 m² of green space per inhabitant

- 11 trees per hectare (but only 0.2 trees per inhabitant)

- Average green space budget per inhabitant: €47

- on average, invest 1.2 % of budget on green space

 

13: Rennes:  8,680,000 m², 207,178 inhabitants, 42 m²

12: Nantes: 34 m²

11: Bordeaux: 25 m²

10: Toulouse: 7,600,000 m², 441,802 inhabitants, 17 m²

9: Grenoble: 2,350,000 m², 155,637 inhabitants, 15 m²

9: Strasbourg: 4,000,000 m², 271,782 inhabitants, 15 m²

9: Montpellier:  3,930,000 m², 257,351 inhabitants, 15 m²

6: Lille: 12 m²

5: Clermont-Ferrand: 1,500,000 m², 139,860 inhabitants, 11 m²

4: Lyon: 4,360,000 m², 484,344 inhabitants, 9 m²

4: Nice: 3,000,000 m², 343 304 inhabitants, 9 m²

2: Marseille: 6,400,000 m², 850,726 inhabitants, 7.5 m²

1: Paris: 9,950,000 m², 2,243,833 inhabitants, 4 m²

 

12. Proximity to regional and national parks

Google Maps - within 2 hour’s drive

13: Paris: 6: Haute Vallée Chevreuse, Oise Pays-de-France, Vexin Francais, Gatinais Francais, Montagne de Reims, Perche

13: Lyon: 6: Pilat, Chartreuse, Massif des Bauges, Livradois Forez, Vercors, Ecrins

13: Montpellier: 6: Cevennes, Grands Causses, Camargue, Haut Languedoc, Narbonnaise, Alpilles

10: Grenoble: 5: Chartreuse, Écrins, Vercors, Vanoise, Pilat

10: Marseille: 5: Calanques, Verdon, Luberon, Alpilles, Camargue

8: Clermont-Ferrand: 4: Volcans d’Auvergne, Livradois Foret, Millevaches, Cevennes

8: Toulouse: 4: Haute Languedoc, Causses de Quercy, Pyrenées Ariegeoises, Narbonnaise

8: Lille: 4: Scarpe-Escaut, Avesnois, Caps et Marais, Oise Pays de France

5: Strasbourg: 3: Ballons des Vosges, Vosges du Nord, Lorraine

4: Nantes: 2: Briere, Loire Anjou Touraine,

4: Nice: 2: Mercantour, Verdon

4: Rennes: 2: Brieres, Normandie-Maine

1: Bordeaux: 1: Parc naturel régional des Landes de Gascogne

 

13. Air Quality

http://www.terraeco.net/IMG/pdf/Terraeco-classement-villes-durables-2014.pdf

13: Nice: 5 (ranking)

13: Montpellier: 5

11: Toulouse: 7

10: Strasbourg: 11

9: Nantes: 15

8: Rennes: 18

7: Clermont-Ferrand: 19

6: Bordeaux: 21

5: Marseille: 22

4: Paris: 26

3: Grenoble: 28

2: Lyon: 29

1: Lille: 30

 

14. Most singles

http://www.linternaute.com/homme/magazine/les-villes-qui-comptent-le-plus-de-celibataires/en-savoir-plus.shtml

 

13: Lille

12: Rennes

11: Toulouse

10: Bordeaux

9: Montpellier

8: Grenoble

7: Nantes

6: Lyon

5: Paris

4: Clermont-Ferrand

3: Strasbourg

2: Nice

2: Marseille

 

15. Best public transport

http://www.changerdeville.fr/ou-vivre/facilite-de-deplacement-palmares-des-villes-1026.html

Unfortunately Paris was not included in the study so we gave the city the average score, based on the fact the transport is clearly good, but is beset with problems. Just ask commuters on the RER trains. Once the Grand Paris comes into existence then the rankings may change.

13: Lyon

12: Lille

11: Toulouse

10: Rennes

9: Bordeaux

8: Grenoble

7: Paris

6: Nantes

5: Strasbourg

4: Marseille

3:Montpellier

2: Nice

1: Clermont-Ferrand

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