Cost of living in Paris … Can you afford it … ?

So you want to live in Paris, the City of Light? You want to be able to walk along the Seine every day and not just once in a lifetime. You want to be able to walk in at the Louvre every day to see the Mona Lisa? You want to sit at a sidewalk […]

What's this? A marzipan cake - a Paris speciality.

So you want to live in Paris, the City of Light? You want to be able to walk along the Seine every day and not just once in a lifetime. You want to be able to walk in at the Louvre every day to see the Mona Lisa? You want to sit at a sidewalk bistro and sip a Kir Royale whenever you feel like it?

I know that I do … and I can because I live in Paris. (Yes, I know I am fortunate … no need to tell me.)

But is it expensive living in Paris?

I will now bombard you with statistics – these are the latest (2011) –  and you tell me what you think: Is it expensive living in Paris.

To rent an apartment/house in Paris costs €22.40 per sq.meter. That is $30.95 or £19.40. That’s the raw cost of the place, but then the owner/landlord/real estate agent will add all those little extras that add up to a very large extra. These are where the place is situated of course, and then whether there is an elevator in the building, and a concierge (called a gardien these days), what social class your neighbors are etc etc

To buy an apartment/house in Paris will cost you €11,690 for a sq. meter in the 6th arrondissement (district) which is around the Luxembourg Gardens on the Left Bank. (Property prices are highest in the 6th and have been so now for about 10 years.) It will cost €6,350 for a sq meter in the 19th arrondissement. That is $8,773 or £5,498. Properties are always cheapest in the 19th.

If you would not mind living outside Paris, in the suburbs, it will cost you from €3,840-5,450 for 1 sq.meter. That is $5,305-7530 or £3,325-4719.

If you need to work in Paris, what will you be earning?

The statistics look like this:

One out of two people here earn less that €1,500 per month. That is $2,073 or £1,298.

50% earn between €1,120-2,600 per month.That is $1,547-2,600 or £969-2,251.

Those who earn more than €2,600 a month come to just 20% of the people.

Say you fall ill, what will an operation cost you?

The statistics look like this:

Hip replacement in a state hospital: €6,457 ($8,921 or £5,591)

Appendicitis in a state hospital: €1,976 ($2,730 or £1,711)

To have a baby by Cesarean Section will cost you: €3,660 ($5,057 or £3,169)

Please do not believe that medical care in France is free. It is not. It is not. It is not. It is not.

But rest assured that Paris is not the most expensive city in the world. It’s the 18th most expensive city in the world. London is 17th and New York is 27th. The most expensive city in the world is Angola’s Luanda. Moscow ranks 4th and Switzerland’s Geneva ranks fifth.

You may now wonder whether the Parisians – whether the French – are a happy people.

The World Database of Happiness (yes, there really exists such a thing) has just released its list of the happiest nations in the world.

The happiest people are the Danes. Second are the Islandists.  Then follow the Swiss, which I can understand. France ranks 46th on the list,  and the Americans come in at 21st place.

So, well– come on over some time.

 

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

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