Many dream of moving to France, but which region in France is the best one in which to fulfil that dream?
British online company Movehub – specialists in international house-moving advice – published a list of regions in France where the quality of life is best. Their well-being index is based on the OECD‘s criteria that covered five main criteria: employment; disposable household income levels; housing; education; happiness. So how do the recently re-christened French regions fare?
In 12th Place: Corsica.
It’s a growing favourite destination amongst holidaying French, but it came in last in the quality-of-life charts. The beautiful island slipped to bottom spot with an average disposable income of only €17,521 per annum. It is also labelled as the least stable region in France in terms of employment stability with an unemployment rate of 10% of the active population and an employment rate of just 31.3%. The only point of consolation is that on the happiness chart, Corsica scores very strongly with a mark of 8.1/10.
11th place Hauts-de-France and Île-de-France
The Hauts-de-France region (formerly known as Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie) has a shiny new name but it’s down among the bottom of the table in terms of disposable income with just €19,000 per person on average and 4.3/10 score in the employment rankings. A hundred years ago, it was the centre of the industrial revolution but even though some cities (such as Lille) are vibrant, the overall economic picture is a sluggish one that drags down the region’s quality-of-life score.
The Île-de-France has no problem with disposable (i.e. after tax) income, it seems. It easily tops the table on that score with €23,196 on average. The problem is that the cost of living in the greater Paris region is far higher than in any other region in France. The capital region is also at the bottom of the list in terms of housing, with an average of 1.5 rooms per inhabitant available.
10th Place – Provence-Alpes Côte d’Azur
The region run by former Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi only manages 10th place – a fact that may surprise. The trouble with paradise is that it becomes expensive to find a home in it when so many more are trying to do so at the same time. The cost of accommodation drags its life-quality score down but the region comes in very strongly in terms of its average income.
9th, 8th and 7th Place: Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine, Normandie, Centre-Val de Loire
These three regions fall into the average in terms of quality of life. Basically, they enjoy a decent quality of life but their overall score of 5.9/10 isn’t impressive enough to feature in the top five.
6th Place: Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
With 6 out of 10, the new region made up of two older ones enjoys a nice balance of life, even though it actually comes in last in the happiness chart.
5th Place: L’Occitanie
It’s one of the best regions for education with a mark of 8.1/10 but its overall mark of 6.2 out of 10 puts Occitanie in 5th place in France’s regional quality of life rankings.
4th Place: Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Perhaps influenced more by being joined to what was the richest region in France (Rhône-Alpes), Auvergne finds itself up towards the top of the life-quality league in the new enlarged region. It enjoys a high score in average income (5/10) and in employment (6.3/10 – even higher than greater Paris), giving it an impressive overall score of 6.4/10.
3rd Place: Nouvelle-Aquitaine
The Nouvelle-Aquitaine region scores an overall mark of 6.5/10 with education very strong at 8.2/10 and accommodation at 5.9/10.
2nd Place: Pays de la Loire
With a score of 6.6/10, this region would have been top of the list for any betting man. Its capital Nantes is a model of reinvention and revitalisation and it’s not surprising to learn that it scored particularly highly in education (8.3/10) and employment (6.4/10).
1st Place: Brittany
Coming in at a score of 7/10, Brittany is the region with the highest quality of life in all of France. It’s a far cry from the days when it was a poor economic and cultural backwater. With Pays de la Loire (part of which is historically Brittany) in second place, it seems that the Celtic lands of France are the parts to be. Brittany was also the leading region when it comes to employment (6.7/10), accommodation (6.1/10) and education (8.8/10). A perfect blend of Ireland and France perhaps?
Meanwhile, below is an image feed to give you some impressions of Breton life (courtesy of Gosh Gallery) to help you dream