flag France France: Living

In this page: Communities of Expatriates | Ranking of Cities | Renting an Apartment | School System | Health System | Tourism and Culture | Individual and Civic Freedoms | Religion


Communities of Expatriates

The Number of Expatriates
The population of expatriates in France represents 6.3 million people. (National Institute of Demographic Studies). Leading nationalities of expats living in France can be consulted here (latest available data from Statista).
For Further Information
French entrée
Immigration Authority
Immigration, asylum, reception and support for foreigners in France (Ministry of the Interior)
Transportation Companies For Moving/Removals
List of international movers

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Ranking of Cities

Cost of Living
Paris is the 44th most expensive city in the world according to the Mercer Index 2016.
Quality of Life
Mercer's 2017 Quality of Living Survey ranks Paris 38th out of 231.
For Further Information
Quality of Living Worldwide City Rankings –Survey - Mercer
Cost of Living Worldwide City Rankings –Survey - Mercer

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Renting an Apartment

Description of apartments
Studios are apartments with one main room. Some of them are let furnished.
Other apartments are called T (or F) with a separate kitchen, or T bis (or F bis) if the kitchen is not separate, followed by the number of rooms (kitchen excluded).
Normal Lease Term
3 years, renewable by tacit agreement. Notice of leaving is 3 months.
Rental Costs
A deposit (given back when you leave the apartment) equal to 2 months' rent is required. At the beginning of the rental period, a third party is often required to stand guarantor.
Agencies or Private Rentals
Going through a rental agency may be more convenient; but the fees are often sizeable (once or twice the monthly rent).
Renting directly from an individual is less expensive, but value for money often varies from one apartment to another.
Rental Agency Websites
Century 21
Private Rentals Announcements Online
Individual to individual
To buy-to rent
Other Possibilities For Accommodation
French league of youth hostels

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School System

School Level
It breaks down into 5 levels of education: nursery school from age 3; elementary school from age 6 (for 5 years); secondary school (collège) (for 4 years); high school (lycée) leading to the baccalaureat (for 3 years); then higher education (for 2 to 8 years).
International Schools
For further information, consult:
- the School Education in France;
- the list of schools by course chosen.
For Further Information
The Ministry of Education website
Studyabroad.com France

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Health System

Quality of Healthcare
The health system offers good quality care. It is accessible to everyone all over France. Health care personnel are very well trained and competent. Problems of levels of staffing sometimes arise according to region or medical establishment.
International Hospitals
The American hospital in Paris

The British hospital at Levallois

Health Insurance
Accessibility of the Health Insurance Network to Foreigners
Health System Insurance Body
Social Security
Health Ministry
The Ministry of Health

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Tourism and Culture

Different Forms of Tourism

40,000 monuments to visit among which 10,000 châteaux, abbeys and manor houses, the landing beaches, etc.
6,000 museums, 1,000 festivals.
Sculptures, paintings, theatre, concerts, cinema, literature, etc.
Many protected natural parks. See also the French UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Lourdes, Chartres, Lisieux, Mont Saint-Michel
Consult the balneology in France website
The Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, the English Channel. 5,500 km of coastline in all.
Winter Sports
The Alps have some of the most pleasant (and most expensive) ski resorts in Europe, such as Chamonix. The Pyrenees or the Massif Central offer less expensive alternatives.
Outdoor Activities
Hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, mountain climbing, rafting
France is well-known for being the greatest destination in the world for shopping, especially for fashion (website of the French Federation of Haute Couture), culinary specialties or wine (guide to French wines), in small specialised boutiques or in the large department stores (Galeries Lafayette, Printemps), etc.
Tourism Organisations
Explore France
Cultural Organizations
Ministry of Culture and Communication
For Further Information
The culture portal

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Individual and Civic Freedoms

Political Freedom
Civil Liberty
World Ranking of Freedom of the Press According to "Reporters sans Frontières", 2021 report : 34/180
Free Access to the Internet
Rule of Law
Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights
Women's Condition
Despite of having equal status and freedom, women are paid 25% less than men.
For Further Information
Political Rights and Civil Liberties Country Scores by Freedom House
The world ranking on freedom of the Press by Reporters without Borders

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Degree of Freedom
Freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Constitution, and strict anti-defamation laws condemn attacks motivated by religion. A law of 2004 prohibits the wearing of ostentatious religious symbols at school.
Catholics 62%, Protestants 1%, Jews 1%, Muslims 6%, without a religion 26%.
Role of Religion in Society

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Latest Update: May 2023