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Where Do the Rich Live in France?

Where do the wealthy live in France? Not surprisingly, with other wealthy people.

Not unexpectedly Paris contains more wealthy individuals than any other place in France. The city has nearly 87,000 individuals who are liable for the wealth tax (Impôt de solidarité sur la fortune), with an average individual wealth of €2.1 million.

However, it is the commune of Neuilly-sur-Seine, to the west of the capital city in the department of Hauts-de-Seine, which contains the wealthiest individuals. Here the average wealth is €3.4 million, as a result of which those liable each paid an average of over €23,000 in wealth tax.

Indeed, the department of Hauts-de-Seine contains no less than four communes in the list of the top twenty wealthiest places in France. The others are Boulogne-Billancourt, Rueil-Malmaison and Levallois-Perret.

The table below shows the top 20 places in France for individuals liable for the wealth tax in 2010, their average wealth, and the average amount they each paid in wealth tax.

TownNo LiableAverage WealthAverage Tax Paid
Paris 86,949 €2.1m €9,018
Neuilly-sur-Seine 7,571 €3.4m €23,581
Lyon 7,283 €1.7m €5,707
Marseille 6,635 €1.7m €5,811
Nice 5,341 €1.6m €4,934
Boulogne-Billancourt 5,330 €1.9m €7,053
Toulouse 4,609 €1.7m €5,365
Versailles 4,562 €1.8m €6,079
Nantes 3,908 €1.7m €5,329
Bordeaux 3,614 €1.7m €5,646
Aix-en-Provence 3,162 €1.7m €5,990
Strasbourg 2,764 €2m €8,211
Saint-Maur 2,740 €1.7m €5,983
Rueil-Malmaison 2,507 €1.7m €4,924
Cannes 2,424 €2m €7,821
Rennes 2,240 €1.7m €5,237
Saint-Cloud 2,054 €2.2m €9,670
Saint-Germain-en-Laye 1,944 €1.8m €6,166
Montpellier 1,913 €1.6m €5,115
Levallois-Perret 1,780 €1.9m €6,502

Liability to French wealth tax arises to those with a net wealth of at least €1.3 million, although if this threshold is broken then wealth tax becomes payable from €800,000.

In the calculation of liability there is a 30% abatement on the value of the principal home, and business assets are not taken into account.

Those with second homes are also liable, but only on their assets in France.

The newly elected government of President Hollande is proposing reforms to the wealth tax under which the two-bands introduced by the former President Sarkozy in 2011 will be abolished. There will be a return to the six bands previously in place.

In the meantime an interim tax, called the contribution exceptionelle sur la fortune, has been introduced for 2012 to annul the effects of the Sarkozy reform.

It is not proposed to lower the ceiling for liability to the tax, which will remain at €1.3 million.

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This article was featured in our Newsletter dated 01/11/2012

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