Native Parisians now more and more likely to leave Paris

People born in Paris are increasingly likely to move away from the French capital, a new study reveals, with many opting to start a new life in the sunny south of France.

Native Parisians now more and more likely to leave Paris
Photos: AFP
Living in the French capital might be a dream for many but apparently not for native Parisians. 
A report published this week by French national statistics agency Insee showed that while in 1999, 70 percent of people born in the greater Paris region of Ile-de-France still lived in the city, that figure dropped to 68 percent in 2006. 
And the most recent figures show that has dropped again to 66 percent. 
It is estimated that a whopping third of French-speaking Paris natives, which amounts to 3.5 million people, have chosen to start new lives elsewhere in France. 
But why are they leaving?
According to the study the reasons behind the exodus include the cost of housing, professional reasons or issues of living environment, especially when it comes to having children and retirement. 
And it probably won't come as a surprise that the phenomenon tends to affect older Parisians who have perhaps had enough of big city living more than their younger counterparts. 
The trend mainly concerns people over the age of 60, with just 49.8 percent of those born in the region still living there (compared to 53 percent in 2006).
And where are they going?
At whatever age Parisians decide to leave their home, they are overwhelmingly choosing to ditch it for the sunnier climes of southern France. 
The Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in the south west of France drew 14 percent of Parisians moving away from the capital, and the southern Occitanie region, Provence and the Alpes-Maritimes department also proved alluring for natives of the French capital.  
Provence. Photo: François Philipp/Flickr
Unsurprisingly the French Riviera also proved a big draw, with 12 percent of Paris deserters choosing to make their lives there.
But not all native Parisians felt the pull of the south, with 10 percent of them choosing the Centre-Val de Loire region, geographically close to Paris as their new home. 
The map below shows where in France Parisians are settling. 
Map: Insee

Paris: Why eight out of ten top earners dream of leavingPhoto: AFP


Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

Car, moped, public transport, or electric bicycle - which means of transport is the quickest way to get across Paris?

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

One intrepid reporter for French daily Le Parisien decided to find out. 

The challenge was simple. Which mode of transport would get the journalist from the heart of Fontenay-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs to the newspaper’s office on Boulevard de Grenelle, west Paris, fastest?

Over four separate journeys, each one in the middle of rush hour, the electric bicycle was quickest and easiest. More expensive than conventional bikes, electric bikes do come with a government subsidy.

The journey was described as ‘pleasant and touristy’ on a dry but chilly morning going via dedicated cycle lanes that meant the dogged journalist avoided having to weave in and out of traffic.

It took, in total, 47 minutes from start to finish at an average speed of 19km/h, on a trip described as “comfortable” but with a caveat for bad weather. The cost was a few centimes for charging up the bike.

In comparison, a car journey between the same points took 1 hour 27 minutes – a journey not helped by a broken-down vehicle. Even accounting for that, according to the reporter’s traffic app, the journey should – going via part of the capital’s southern ringroad – have taken about 1 hr 12.

Average speed in the car was 15km/h, and it cost about €2.85 in diesel – plus parking.

A “chaotic and stressful” moped trip took 1 hour 3 minutes, and cost €1.30 in unleaded petrol.

Public transport – the RER and Metro combined via RER A to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile then Metro line 6 to the station Bir-Hakeim – took 50 minutes door to door, including a 10-minute walk and cost €2.80. The journey was described as “tiring”.

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