Excerpted from the France Career Guide
Cost of Living
As in many countries, the cost of living varies greatly depending on whether one lives in the capital region or the provinces. Costs are higher in France’s cities and Paris in particular. The city routinely figures among the world’s top 40 most expensive cities:
- 2nd spot in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living survey, jumping six places.
- 27th in Mercer’s Cost of Living Rankings, up ten places from the previous year.
- 14th in Swiss bank UBS’ Prices and Earnings report, which surveys the price of a basket of goods for a family of three based on European consumption habits and compiles salary information for 15 different occupations in 72 cities around the world. Lyon is the next-costliest French city in the UBS survey, at 21st place.
There are no restrictions on foreigners owning property in France. With low mortgage rates, somewhat lower home prices and potential positive reforms in regulations, conditions are favorable for foreigners interested in purchasing homes in France.
The property market for both old properties and new constructions is on the upswing. Prices are expected to rise slowly and steadily this year; there is no danger of a housing bubble. Property prices are expected to rise by 1 percent this year and 2 percent next year.
France boasts one of the most extensive and modern transportation systems in the world. Metropolitan France (excluding overseas departments and territories) has more than 1,000,000 kilometers/621,371 miles of roadways in total. France is linked to the United Kingdom through the Eurotunnel or ‘Chunnel,’ a tunnel under the English Channel that accommodates both passenger trains (the Eurostar, site available in French, English and Dutch) and roll-on/roll-off vehicle transport.
Medical Care and Health Insurance
The French health care system is considered to be one of the best in the world. The universal health coverage, or Couverture maladie universelle, is funded by taxes and private health care companies. Patients pay directly for treatment and are subsequently reimbursed by the government based upon income level and the approved treatment cost.
This is just a short sample of what you’ll find in over 100 pages of information in the complete France Guide.