France: 72 Percent of Parisians Think About Leaving Capital

This picture taken on March 21, 2019 shows the village of Avapessa in the North of the French Mediterranean island of Corsica. (Photo by PASCAL POCHARD-CASABIANCA / AFP) (Photo credit should read PASCAL POCHARD-CASABIANCA/AFP/Getty Images)

A majority of French say they are fed up with their current living environment, according to a new survey, and they would much rather live in a rural village than a big city.

The study, which was taken by L’observatoire société et consommation (L’OBSOCO)revealed that six out of ten French were not happy in their living environment and that the overwhelming majority wanted a quieter life in the countryside, La Vie Immo reports.

In the French capital of Paris, around 72 percent of the residents say they think about living somewhere else a lot, compared to only 26 percent nationally.

“This is an important proportion, not all of them will necessarily go into the project, but it is a very strong aspiration,” said sociologist Simon Burell.

“It is clear that this aspiration emanates from the populations of large cities who deplore the rhythms of life that are too busy, living environments that are polluted and are in search of alternatives,” he added.

The overwhelming majority of those surveyed said that their ideal living environment would be in a rural village, with 82 percent favouring country life over urban areas. 70 percent said they would settle for a suburban area while only a mere 20 percent said they prefer urban centres.

There was also a distinct theme of self-reliance among the respondents, with 65 percent saying they would like to be self-sufficient growing their own food, while 73 percent said they wanted energy self-sufficiency as well.

The survey marks a distinct change from recent attitudes and trends which have seen people largely abandon rural areas for bigger cities across Europe.

Those who have remained in rural areas in European countries such as Germany have been labelled “right-wing extremists” by researchers and labelled “völkisch”, and have even been called a threat to the country at large.

Other countries are actively attempting to repopulate the countryside, however.

For example, in Italy the populist Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini has introduced a new programme that could see families with three or more children given free tracts of land in the country.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)



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