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France Tops Best Place Yet Again

Thursday 30 September 2010

France tops another league table as the best place to live in Europe.

It seems that whoever does the research comes up with the same conclusion. Other countries may sometimes have better cities, but rarely do any surpass France as the best country to hang your hat.

In January, International Living magazine published their survey of best places in the world to live, in which France came top.

This time around it is the turn of the price comparison site uSwitch.com, who undertook a study of life in ten major European countries.

They examined 16 ‘quality of life’ factors, such as net income, the cost of essential goods such as fuel and food, along with lifestyle factors, such as hours of sunshine, holiday entitlement, working hours and life expectancy.

Perhaps one of the most interesting comparisons to emerge was that food prices in France were 13% cheaper than in the UK. A monthly food bill in the UK was £137.13, while it was £119.57 in France.

Given the widespread press reports about expats in France organising trips to the UK to buy food this seems a surprising conclusion.

However, the figures are not based on shopping trolley trips by the researchers around Tesco and E.Leclerc, but come from the official Eurostat statistical office of the EU Commission.

Indeed, the whole study by uSwitch.com was one strongly driven by statistics, a methodology that was not dominant in the study undertaken by International Living, who also considered some of the more unquantifiable aspects of life.

For them, one of the most important reasons why France came top in their study was the bon-vivant lifestyle of the French, which the magazine considered to be the special quality of the country.

And for those who come from the UK, France also has another attraction; the relative ease and cheapness of travel between the two countries, at least, certainly on strike free days!


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