Paris ranked as one of worst cities for foreign residents – again

Paris ranked as one of worst cities for foreign residents - again
Is Paris really so horrible? Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP
Yet another survey has pointed to Paris as one of the worst cities for expats to live in, but is it really so bad?

A survey of more than 12,000 people living abroad has cast Paris as a terrible place to live. The respondents came from 174 different countries. 

The Expat City Ranking 2021 placed the French capital 51st out of 57 cities. Only Rome, Milan, Johannesburg, Istanbul, Tokyo and Istanbul ranked lower. 

Respondents described Parisians as the unfriendliest locals towards foreign residents worldwide. 53 percent said it was hard to make friends in the city – against the 32 percent global average. 

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59 percent said it was difficult to find housing while 77 percent said it was difficult to afford. One in five said they do not feel safe in Paris – more than twice the global average. 

When people considering a move to the French capital ask for recommendations or advice on moving to Paris in Facebook groups, the comments often reflect the antipathy felt towards the city by those living in it.

One of the most commented posts in a British and Irish expat forum contains the phrase: “I find that people just get extra annoyed at the smallest of things here.” 

The French capital routinely ranks bottom or close to the bottom of expat rankings. And to be fair, most French people from outside of Paris say it is a dirty, snooty and unfriendly place where life moves too fast and everyone is stressed. 

But it can’t be that bad. 

Of the 136,000 Brits and 27,000 Americans (US) living in France, the largest proportion reside in Ile-de-France. This suggests that Paris must have some redeeming features. 

The areas where the city does well on Expat City Ranking 2021 are job security, affordable healthcare and leisure opportunities. 

Do you agree that Paris is terrible or do you love your life here? Share your views in the survey below.


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