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MAP: Where in France has the best standard of living?

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MAP: Where in France has the best standard of living?

One of the major reasons that people move to France is to improve their quality of life - but like all countries France varies dramatically between regions, so where has the best standard of living?


The French public statistics body INSEE has just released a new interactive map allowing people to search for the areas that have the best standard of living.

How is calculated?

The map is based on household income data as reported to the French tax authorities, and analyses the disposable income per household.


The standard of living map from INSEE

Due to reasons of confidentiality, the map does not cover areas where there are only a very small number of people, so if you live in an isolated rural area, your section of the map could be blank.

The calculation takes income as declared to the tax authorities, adds in social benefits and divides it by the number of people living in the household to give a disposable income level per household.

Is it just based on income?

Yes, the standard of living base is purely a financial one. So if you subscribe to the theory that money can't buy you happiness then you might not agree with the methodology.

On a more serious note, it does tend to skew the data in favour of urban areas, as people living in rural areas often earn less, but make up for it in other benefits such as lower rent levels and more intangible benefits such as a closer community, good schools and a healthy lifestyle.

READ ALSO IN PICTURES: The five places around France with the highest percentage of second homes

So where is the best place to live?

Well according to the data, it's Paris. In general urban areas come out better as people in larger urban centres tend, on average, to earn more. Paris has the highest concentration of red squares (denoting the highest level of standard of living) followed by Lyon and then southern cities including Béziers, Nice and - perhaps surprisingly given its reputation - Marseille. 

Do you agree with this assessment or can you make a case for your hometown having a better standard of living than Paris or Lyon? Head to our Facebook page and share your views on the best bit of France to live in.



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