Number 1, again

The Eiffel Tower at night

It didn’t surprise us to see a headline that read, “French Nationality Ranked No. 1 Globally for 8th Year” with the story continuing that for the eighth consecutive year France was at the top of a worldwide nationality list. We knew that with 90 million annual international visitors the country had more tourists than any other. After all, it’s hard to beat attractions including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Palace of Versailles, and even both of our own UNESCO World Heritage Sites— the medieval walled city of Carcassonne and the Canal-du-Midi—all in one landmass area about the size of Texas. So, we were pleased to see this continuing recognition but we didn’t know what it meant. What is the Quality of Nationality Index (QNI)?

Mona Lisa inside the Louvre

The QNI is a comparison of a number of factors relating to the rights of the holder of a particular passport. In fact, it’s that travel document alone, without the need for a visa, that helped put France at the top. Complementary with that is the ease with which someone can live and/or work abroad. Also judged were the strength of a country’s economy, general peace and stability, and the opportunities offered to residents to develop their own talents and businesses. For comparison purposes only (no country bashing, please) the US came in at position 25 and at the bottom spot of 159 was Somalia.

While the QNI is especially important for businesses and entrepreneurs, as everyday residents, Bill and I are more affected by other lists that put France at or near the top. A perfect score of 10 in the Cultural Influence category in a US News and World Report study says that the French are “prestigious, fashionable, and trendy”. When that filters down to us it means that we enjoy delicious fresh food and wine at great prices.

Courtyard at Versailles

Another survey asked ex-patriots what had improved about their lives since moving here. Among the items cited were a great work/life balance (we’re retired but it means we get to see a lot of our friends and neighbors), friendly people, reasonably-priced housing, affordable healthcare, nice weather, beautiful and varied landscapes, a rich history…on and on. We agree 100 percent.

Publication schedule change: We’re moving to a twice-a-month publication schedule, filling in with extra posts as the topics arise. See you in two weeks!

5 thoughts on “Number 1, again

  1. Those of us lucky enough to live here know, while not perfect – no place is – France has so much to offer. I am beyond grateful to be a resident of this amazing country – and the wine prices are a joy. 😉

    I’m sorry you will no longer brighten every Sunday morning, but a more rare treat will still be a special one. Thanks for hosting us with interesting, informative, funny, and beautiful weekly blogs.

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    1. We join you in that gratitude and thank you for those very kind words.This year we will celebrate 5 years of writing the blog and 4 years of living in France. We’ve now settled into a routine that clearly makes this “home”.


  2. I know I have seen only a small part of France the three times I’ve been there and have enjoyed it each time! Will definitely be back on a future to continue exploring! Love the wine and scenery and the ancient historical sites the best! Mont Saint Michel really amazed me as did Carcassonne!

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