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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Expats in Paris Fight with Daily Hurdles but Enjoy the Cultural Life

Paris ranks among the bottom 3 of the Expat City Ranking 2022 (48th). Expats struggle in many areas of life: housing, finding friends, and the general cost of living.

Paris places 48th out of 50 cities in the Expat City Ranking 2022 and lands in the bottom 5 of the Expat Essentials Index (47th). Expats find it extremely hard to find housing (47th). More than seven in ten (71%) also say that housing costs are too high (vs. 43% globally). Language is another obstacle: when it comes to trying to get by without speaking the local language, expats rank Paris last (50th). Admin topics, even simple ones like opening a bank account (41% find it hard vs. 21% globally), cause further problems, with Paris ranking 46th in this subcategory. “The administration system is complicated and slow, and there is little support for expats to navigate through it. Plus, there are the language barrier and the illogically low salaries compared to the cost of living”, says a Lithuanian expat. High expenses in France’s capital can also be felt in the Personal Finance Index, where Paris ends up in the bottom 3 (48th). The general cost of living is considered too high by 62% of expats (vs. 35% globally), which might be why 35% are unhappy with their financial situation (vs. 21% globally).

Expats do not feel very welcome in Paris (45th), either, which is one of the reasons for its bottom 5 ranking in the Ease of Settling In Index (46th). More than one in three (35%) consider the Parisians unfriendly towards foreign residents, almost twice the global share (18%). Paris not only ranks 48th in the Local Friendliness Subcategory, but also 47th in the Finding Friends Subcategory. Expats find it hard to make local friends (58% vs. 37% globally) and do not have a personal network for practical and emotional support (33% vs. 24% globally). “Social life in Paris will probably push many to form a support network consisting of people of their own nationality,” says a Lebanese expat.

On the positive side, Paris ranks midfield for Quality of Life (30th). Nine out of ten (90%) enjoy their travel opportunities (vs. 82% globally), and 83% appreciate the availability of public transportation in Paris (vs. 73% globally). More than three-quarters (76%) find healthcare affordable (vs. 61% globally), and very few (7%) have anything negative to say about the quality of medical care (vs. 14% globally). A large majority of expats (86%) enjoy the food and dining options (vs. 77% globally), and 78% appreciate the culture and nightlife (vs. 67% globally). “I love the quality of life, the food, the infrastructure, healthcare, and ease of travel,” says a US American expat. However, expats worry about their personal safety (46th). More than one in five (23%) do not feel safe in Paris, more than twice the worldwide average (9%).

Paris also receives mixed reviews in the Working Abroad Index (34th). Nearly two-thirds (66%) are satisfied with their job security (vs. 59% globally), but only slightly more than half (53%) feel that they are being fairly paid based on industry, qualifications, and role (vs. 62% globally). In terms of overall job satisfaction, Paris ranks 43rd. More than one in three (35%) say that the local business culture does not encourage creativity or thinking outside of the box (vs. 26% globally).

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