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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Safe and Family-Friendly in France

Moving to France can present a bit of a challenge, but those who stay the course enjoy a high quality of life for both themselves and their children.

France ranks only seventh from the bottom when it comes to the ease of settling in. Most notably, resident expats seem to have issues fitting in with the locals. While, on average, more than a quarter of our worldwide participants (27%) describe the respective local residents as very friendly, only about one in seven expats in France (14%) feel the same way.

Part of this might be explained by the fact that 64% of our respondents agree that living in France is difficult without learning the language; a sentiment shared by just a third of expats across the globe (33%) as far as their new country of residence is concerned.

Expat Statistics France

Expat Statistics France infographic
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France Welcomes Families

On a more positive note, families with children seem to thrive in France, as the country ranks 3rd out of 34 countries in our Family Life Index, beaten only by Sweden and Denmark. This seems to be mainly due to two factors.

First, hardly any of the resident expats (1%) are concerned about the health and safety of their children. Second, France ranks quite well for quality of education (9th out of 34). At the same time, around two-thirds of participants (67%) agree that education for their children is easy to afford, which just an average of 29% of expats worldwide echo.

However, our participants are not quite as happy about their general financial situation. Thus, France comes in at rank 52 out of 61 in the Personal Finance Index. Of our resident expats, 11% are dissatisfied with their personal financial situation, which compared to the global average of 9% does not seem to be too significant, however.

Still, while one in six participants on a global scale (16%) are completely satisfied with their finances, the same can be said for just every tenth expat in France (11%). Nevertheless, France does rank 36th out of 61 in regard to general living costs. According to our reverse Cost of Living Ranking, this means that life there is rated somewhat more expensive than the global average.

Personal Well-Being a Major Plus

In terms of general quality of life, France is ranked highly at 9th out of 61. For example, four in five respondents (80%) describe the quality of French medical care as good or excellent – a significant improvement on the global average of 53%.

Similarly, just 2% of expats in France are in any way concerned about their personal safety, while on average 8% of expats worldwide harbor such concerns.

In their spare time, our participants also find that there is plenty to do in France. More than three in four (77%) deem available leisure activities to be either good or very good, compared to the global average of 61%.

In spite of the satisfaction with health, safety, and leisure activities, France ranks just 38th in terms of personal happiness. Our respondents’ troubles with settling in might in some way account for this ranking.

Subpar Career Opportunities

However, expats in France seem less satisfied with their work situation than the global average; the country ranks 48th out of 61. Quite notably, a mere 7% of resident expats are very satisfied with the state of the French economy, while on average one in four expats worldwide (25%) express a similar level of satisfaction.

This could also account for the discrepancies in career prospect satisfaction. While, on average, two in five expats globally (40%) are content with their career prospects, less than a quarter of expats in France (24%) express the same confidence.