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

Yet another survey has pointed to Paris as one of the worst cities for expats to live in, but is it really so bad?

Paris ranked as one of worst cities for foreign residents - again
Is Paris really so horrible? Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP

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. 

READ ALSO The 10 best things about Paris that movies never show

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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France to roll out ID cards app

Technology is being rolled out to allow people to carry their French ID cards in an app form - and could be rolled out to other cards, including driving licences and cartes de séjour residency cards.

France to roll out ID cards app

Holders of French carte d’identité (ID cards) will soon be able to carry certified digital versions of them on their smartphone or other electronic devices, a decree published in the Journal Officiel has confirmed.

An official app is being developed for holders of the newer credit card-format ID cards that have information stored on a chip. A provisional test version of the app is expected at the end of May.

Users will be able to use the ID card app, when it becomes available, for a range of services “from checking in at the airport to renting a car”, according to Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market.

All French citizens have an ID card, which can be used for proving identity in a range of circumstances and for travel within the EU and Schengen zone – the new app will be in addition to the plastic card that holders already have.

Under the plans, after downloading the app, card holders will need merely to hold the card close to their phone to transfer the required information. According to officials, the holder then can decide what information is passed on – such as proof of age, or home address – according to the situation.

The government has not given any examples of situations in which the app would need to be used, but has set out the main principles and the ambition of the plan: to allow everyone to identify themselves and connect to certain public and private organisations, in particular those linked to the France Connect portal.

READ ALSO What is France Connect and how could it make your life simpler?

Cards will continue to be issued for the foreseeable future – this is merely an extension of the existing system.

Only French citizens have ID cards, but if successful the app is expected to be rolled out to include other cards, such as driving licences, cartes de séjour residency cards or even visas. A digital wallet is being developed at the European level – Member States have until September to agree what it could contain.

READ ALSO Eight smartphone apps that make life in France a bit easier