Où vit-on le mieux ? Le Palmarès 2008 des Départements

I found a copy of L’Express from the end of June lying around the apartment a few days ago, and noticed it was the rankings of the best and worst départements in mainland France. The winner overall is Haute-Garonne (Toulouse) in the Midi-Pyrénées, followed by 2. Pyrénées-Atlantiques (Pau) in Aquitaine, 3. Ille-et-Vilaine (Rennes) in Bretagne, 4. Isère (Grenoble) in Rhône-Alpes, and 5. Gironde (Bordeaux) in Aquitaine.  The losers? 92. Creuse (Guéret) in Limousin, 93. Eure (Evreux) in Haute-Normandie, 94. Meuse (Bar-le-Duc) in Lorraine, 95. Aisne (Laon) in Picardie, and 96. Ardennes (Charleville-Mézières) in Champagne-Ardenne.

There are three main classements annexes, i.e. the best départements for:

Young people

  1. Hérault (Montpellier)
  2. Haute-Garonne (Toulouse)
  3. Gironde (Bordeaux)
  4. Bouches-du-Rhône (Marseilles)
  5. Rhône (Lyon)

Seniors

  1. Hautes-Alpes (Gap)
  2. Aveyron (Rodez)
  3. Corrèze (Tulle)
  4. Pyrénées-Atlantiques (Pau)
  5. Vendée (La Roche-sur-Yon)

Families

  1. Haute-Garonne (Toulouse)
  2. Pyrénées-Atlantiques (Pau)
  3. Vendée (La Roche-sur-Yon)
  4. Ille-et-Vilaine (Rennes)
  5. Hérault (Montpellier)

Then there are 14 classements thématiques, according to health, security, education, transportation, the economy, the environment, culture, etc. All of the results can be found here: Les départements où il fait bon vivre. There’s also a test interactif you can try to find out which département best suits you if you’re thinking about moving to France but don’t know where yet.

Haute-Savoie came in at 19 overall, which isn’t too bad out of 96. It’s at 45 for young people, 46 for seniors, and 20 for families. Higher education: 54, health: 24, price of housing: 91!!! (completely agree with this one!); security: 58, culture (museums, cinemas): 42; economic growth: 11; availability of internet: 43; businesses/shopping centers: 21; economic power: 34; living environment (pollution, access to sea or green areas): 44; weather: 75 (unfortunately, it is that bad here); social situation (low unemployment, high income): 2 !!!; medical services: 57; success rate for le bac: 2 !!! (apparently lycéens are really smart here!)

I was a little surprised that Haute-Savoie has some of the highest incomes, but I guess it makes sense considering how many people who live here actually work in Switzerland and benefit from the exchange rate between the Swiss Franc and Euro. Some of these are no-brainers though, like the cost of living is highest in Paris, the weather is the best on the Côte d’Azur, and the safest area is Limousin & Auvergne (because the population is lowest there). How is your département ranked in the palmarès 2008?

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  • http://ausoleillevant.blogspot.com/ au soleil levant

    Ouch! Aisne comes in at 95! Not too surprising I guess…. I was particularly disturbed by our esperence de vie (94) and sur-mortalite (91). But on the plus side, our price of housing is only 9th! All the young, healthy people will totally be moving here. Who cares about no jobs and bad lycees when you can buy an apartment for less than 1000 euros?

    au soleil levants last blog post..Crazy is as crazy does

  • http://ausoleillevant.blogspot.com au soleil levant

    Ouch! Aisne comes in at 95! Not too surprising I guess…. I was particularly disturbed by our esperence de vie (94) and sur-mortalite (91). But on the plus side, our price of housing is only 9th! All the young, healthy people will totally be moving here. Who cares about no jobs and bad lycees when you can buy an apartment for less than 1000 euros?

    au soleil levants last blog post..Crazy is as crazy does

  • http://eileen.likeafrog.org/ Eileen

    Someone had told me when I lived there that la Meuse was one of the poorest departements in the nation. Looks like the northeast more or less took that list… which somehow makes me proud?

    Great post by the way!

    Eileens last blog post..Back

  • http://eileen.likeafrog.org Eileen

    Someone had told me when I lived there that la Meuse was one of the poorest departements in the nation. Looks like the northeast more or less took that list… which somehow makes me proud?

    Great post by the way!

    Eileens last blog post..Back

  • http://leahenfranceparttrois.blogspot.com/ Leah

    Woohoo, go Ille et vilaine!! Thanks for posting this, tis very interesting.

    Leahs last blog post..Updates

  • http://leahenfranceparttrois.blogspot.com Leah

    Woohoo, go Ille et vilaine!! Thanks for posting this, tis very interesting.

    Leahs last blog post..Updates

  • http://www.franceprofonde.blogspot.com/ Betty C.

    I suppose I’ve dropped by here before since I see I’m on your sidebar. We’re both Americans and started blogging at about the same time, so I think I’ll add you to my Google Reader and keep up!

    These lists are interesting — I see I live in a great place for old people! Maybe I should hang on in Aveyron until retirement!

    Betty C.s last blog post..Quick update

  • http://www.franceprofonde.blogspot.com Betty C.

    I suppose I’ve dropped by here before since I see I’m on your sidebar. We’re both Americans and started blogging at about the same time, so I think I’ll add you to my Google Reader and keep up!

    These lists are interesting — I see I live in a great place for old people! Maybe I should hang on in Aveyron until retirement!

    Betty C.s last blog post..Quick update

  • http://www.webtaz.blogspot.com/ Taz

    Ohhh! I’m sad! I didn’t see my department:
    Le Var !
    :)

    Tazs last blog post..Stimulation intellectuelle

  • http://www.webtaz.blogspot.com Taz

    Ohhh! I’m sad! I didn’t see my department:
    Le Var !
    :)

    Tazs last blog post..Stimulation intellectuelle

Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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