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REVEALED: Where in France has the lowest cost of living?

REVEALED: Where in France has the lowest cost of living?
Photo: AFP
New data on the average household bills in France has revealed the areas with the highest and lowest cost of living, taking into account factors including house prices, transport costs and utility bills.

The survey on household spending by price comparison site Les Furets and consultants CSA Research has made a comparison of what it terms 'constrained expenses' for people living in different regions of France.

These cover essential monthly outgoings such as housing costs, transport, utilities and health cover, but not food shopping or leisure activities such as eating out, cinema tickets, sports etc.

And in a surprise twist, the data showed that the Paris region is not the most expensive place in France to live.

Although housing costs, whether you are renting or buying, are famously expensive in Paris and the surrounding Île-de-France region, other costs such as transport were much lower than other regions, thanks to an efficient public transport network which means many people do not own a car.

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The small size of Paris apartments also meant that heating and lighting bills were lower, while Île-de-France residents were unlikely to pay for a fixed phone line.

The region revealed as the most expensive was Bourgogne-Franche-Comté in north eastern France, where residents pay an average of €1,554 a month in bills, including €846 in housing costs (rent or mortgage plus utilities and tax) and a steep €323 for travel costs.

The next highest was Hauts-de-France in northern France, where residents paid €1,276 a month and Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes in eastern France with €1,269 in monthly bills.

The Île-de-France region came in fourth at €1,001 a month, of which €699 was housing costs but only €180 was travel costs.

However the survey did not include food or leisure activities – both of which are comparatively expensive in the Paris region, with visitors to the city from other parts of France frequently appalled when they see bar prices.

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These were followed by Brittany at €903 a month, Nouvelle-Aquitaine at €877 and – the cheapest region of all – Occitanie in the south west, where average monthly bills came in at a very reasonable €851.

Occitanie – which covers the south-western France départements of Ariège, Aude, Aveyron, Gard, Haute-Garonne, Gers, Hérault, Lot, Lozère, Hautes-Pyrénées, Pyrénées-Orientales, Tarn and Tarn-et-Garonne – has long been a popular retirement spot, thanks to its relatively low cost of living combined with gentle climate and stunning scenery.

The data also showed that the 25-34 age group had the highest costs on average, paying out €1,440 a month including €827 on housing while the over 65s had the lowest outgoings at €863 a month of which just €440 related to housing costs.

For more detail from the survey, click here.

 


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