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Major French cities rated on key socio-economic issues

Major cities in France have been ranked on key issues such as public safety, poverty, childcare provision, culture, and policing - with Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Nice and Marseille top in many areas.

Issues such as time spent in traffic jams, the number of road traffic accidents, bike hire availability, social housing provision, creche places, government spending on sport and culture, and numbers of police officers were also taken into account in the report by independent think tank l’Institut Montaigne, published February 4.

The 11th largest cities were evaluated: Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Nantes, Nice, Paris, Rennes, Strasbourg and Toulouse.

The study comes ahead of the upcoming municipal elections, which are happening March 15-22.


Transport: Strasbourg and Lille

Strasbourg was found to be the easiest city to navigate by bike, with 1.01km of cycling lanes per 1,000 inhabitants. This was followed by Nantes (0.74km) and Toulouse (0.67km). Marseille came in last on this score, with just 0.09km.

When it comes to bikes for hire, Lille came out on top, with more per inhabitant than in Paris or Lyon.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Paris came top for traffic and traffic jams, with Parisians spending 237 hours per year stuck in jams, compared to Bordeaux (223 hours) and Montpellier (163 hours). Rennes had the fewest jams, at just 28 hours.

Paris also had the most road accidents, ahead of Lyon and Rennes.

(Source: Institut Montaigne / Flourish / FranceInfo)


Leisure and culture: Bordeaux and Nice

Bordeaux was found to spend the most on culture, with €273.90 per inhabitant, versus the next biggest-spenders, Lyon and Nice (€235 apiece). Montpellier spent the least on culture per person, at just €42.50.

Nice also invests more in sports facilities, at €208.90 per inhabitant, compared to Strasbourg, which came bottom of the pile at just €30.60.

(Source: Institut Montaigne / Flourish / FranceInfo)


Policing: Marseille and Nice

The study found that the local spend on policing and security can vary significantly between regions.

In Marseille, €192.6 per person is spent, while in Rennes, this drops to just €20.4. Paris spends €176, while Nice spends €170.

This is evident in the numbers of local police too: in Nice, there is one officer per 864 inhabitants, while in Rennes, there is just one per 2,945 people.

(Source: Institut Montaigne / Flourish / FranceInfo)


Social: Strasbourg and Paris

Strasbourg was found to have the most social housing units, by population, with 27%, followed by Lille (23.7%) and Montpellier (22.8%). Nice had the least, at 12.7%.

Parents with young children have the highest chance of finding a creche place in Paris, with 36.9 creches per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to 34 in Lyon, and 31.2 in Bordeaux.

(Source: Institut Montaigne / Flourish / FranceInfo)


Population and economy: Nantes and Marseille

Of all the cities, Nantes saw the biggest rise in the number of new inhabitants between 2011-2016, at 6.3%, just ahead of Bordeaux and Montpellier (5.5% af 5% respectively).

Only two of the 11 cities studied saw a drop in inhabitants: Paris (a 2.7% decrease from 2011-2016) and Nice (0.6%).

Business-wise, however, Marseille appears to be the most attractive option, with 16.1 shops per inhabitant, ahead of Paris (12.3) and Bordeaux (8.4). Nice has the fewest (3.1).

In contrast, Lyon has the highest rate of poverty, making it the opposite of Montpellier and Marseille.

(Source: Institut Montaigne / Flourish / FranceInfo)

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