Disneyland is trademarked as “the happiest place on earth” and we would certainly agree that it’s fun. But what about the happiest place in France? To find that out took the combined efforts of a research institute, a think-tank, a national news source, and the railroad to interview residents of all 12 regions in mainland France. Over a month-long period 10,000 people were asked their opinion of their daily lives and about where they lived. To get an expanded view beyond the local area some of the 100 questions dealt with social ties, cohesiveness, and the country’s vision. The top finding was that 78% of the respondents declared themselves “happy” and within that, 38% were “very happy”. Satisfaction with the work/life balance was at 70% while general optimism about one’s own future ranked at 57%. And there’s more encouraging news.
The majority of the people who answered the survey were content with where they were currently living. 66% said that their neighborhood or community was a “good place to live” and that they thought others would be attracted to it. In answering the question “What are the essentials to a successful life” there were 24 answers ranked from most important to least important. Here are the top 5 and the bottom 5 replies:
1. To be in good health
2. To feel comfortable in your own body
3. To get along with your parents and your children
4. To have a job of your own choosing and that you enjoy
5. To have friends
20. To go on a world tour
21. To have a nice car
22. To own a second home
23. To have a nice watch and beautiful clothes
24. To have the latest smartphone
So, who’s the most content? For the top spot it’s essentially a tie between two regions:
- Le Grand Est (cities include Strasbourg–featured photo above, Nancy, and Metz)
- Le Pays de la Loire (Nantes, Angers, Le Mans)
Just below that are:
- Bretagne (Rennes, Brest, Quimper)
- Nouvelle Aquitaine (Bordeaux, Limoges, Poitiers)
Happily, our own region of Occitanie is right up there with the national average, in fact, slightly above with a satisfaction factor of 79%. We’re not surprised since Bill and I would probably put that value at much closer to 100%.
Bonus reading: If you’d like to read the entire report, below is a link to the original Baromètre des Territoires on the website of think-tank Institut Montaigne. It’s 130 pages, in French, and covers much more than just the general satisfaction information I’ve highlighted above.