PHOTOS: Study shows greenest and healthiest places in live in France

The number of green spaces was a major criteria considered in new health ranking which also looked at healthy food shops, bathing areas and hiking trails

A view of four images of the greenest departments in France
The number of green spaces per 100,000 residents was a major part of the overall healthiest place to live ranking
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The departments of Jura, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Lozère are the greenest places to live in France, a new study on the healthiest parts of the country has found.

Of the top 10, Jura won with 26.10 green spaces per 100,000 residents, followed by Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (22.90), and Lozère (22.97).

The ranking, by the teleconsultation medical site Zava, considered the green spaces as part of a wider study on the healthiest departments in France.

The criteria also included the number of sports centres per 100,000 residents, the number of hiking trails, the number of ‘healthy’ (and ‘unhealthy’) shops or outlets, and the number of bathing or swimming sites.

Overall for health, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence came in first place, with a score of 8.10 out of 10, followed by Hautes-Pyrénées (7.75) and Lozère (7.42).

The 10 ‘greenest’ and healthiest places to live in France

The top 10, ranked by green spaces per 100,000 residents, is:

1. Jura

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With 26.10 green spaces per 100,000 residents, the eastern, wooded department of Jura is far and away the top scoring department for green spaces in this ranking.

2. Lozère

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In second place is the mountainous department of Lozère in Occitanie, with 22.97.

3. Alpes-de-Haute Provence

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Just behind, this Mediterranean department, with its dramatic landscapes, ranked in third place with 22.90.

4. Ariège

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Another mountainous, rural, southwestern department scored well, just off the top three podium, with 20.63.

5. Lot

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Another southwestern department comes in next, with a comfortable score of 20.32.

6. Aveyron

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Next on the list is Aveyron - a department at the centre of a triangle created by the cities of Toulouse, Clermont-Ferrand, and Montpellier - and in the south of the Massif Central, with a still-high score of 19.66.

7. Hautes-Pyrénées

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This southern department - which has a border with Spain, and boasts the Western Pyrenees National Park - rounds out the highest scorers, with 19.27.

8. Hautes-Alpes

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This Alpine department - which shares a border with Italy - comes in next, albeit a little way behind, with 13.95.

9. Pyrénées-Orientales

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Next is Pyrénées-Orientales - whose frontiers include Spain and the Mediterranean Sea, and which features the other-worldly Ille-sur-Tet ‘organ’ (Les Orgues) rock formations - with 11.02.

10. Aude

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And last in the ranking is Aude - often known as ‘Cathar country’ after its Cathar heritage and past - with a lower score of 7.46.

The top healthiest places to live in France

Overall, all criteria considered, the top 10 was:

Alpes-de-Haute Provence (8.10 out of 10), Haute-Pyrénées (7.75), Lozère (7.42), Aveyron (7.39), Hautes-Alpes (7.31), Lot (7.23), Jura (7.22), Pyrénées-Orientales (7.05), Aude (7.02), and Ariège (6.87).

Alpes-de-Haute Provence scored particularly highly for the number of public bathing/swimming spaces, with 434.41 per 100,000 residents. This contrasts significantly with the lowest-scorer for this metric, Jura, which only has 61.89.

Jura did score highest on the number of paths and hiking trails, however, with 184.89 per 100,000 residents. This put it far ahead of the second-highest scorer on this metric, Lozère, with 104.14.

When it comes to the number of sports centres, Hautes-Alpes scored highest, with 8.92 per 100,000 residents; followed by Lozère, with 8.48.

And when it comes to the number of ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ shops, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence ranked highest for healthier shops, at 15.51 per 100,000 residents (and 12.44 for unhealthier sites); followed by Hautes-Alpes with 15.22 healthy shops (and 17.77 for unhealthier).

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