23rd July 2023
A team of academics in France have mapped out where best to live in your mature years.
To come up with the results the authors used official data published by the French national statistics agency, INSEE.
The overall results show a map of France skewed very much to the south, with a tone that is also rural.
The department coming top was the Hautes-Alpes followed by Correze and Aveyron.
Other than the top three places, the rating favours those departments who have sought to preserve their attractive environment, such as Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Tarn, Vendée, Vienne, Gers, Deux-Sèvres.
Best overall rating in the general classification went to the Haute-Garonne, but this rating was based on factors that would appeal to younger age groups and families, such as the quality of education, shopping and employment.
In order to determine the rating for older persons the authors analysed, amongst other factors, the level of crime in each area, the weather, the quality of health care, the health of those who live there, the price of property, the quality of the environment, and the range of cultural activities.
Whilst the Hautes-Alpes was unable to pick up a golden accolade for any one of these factors, its overall average gave it top-spot.
The graphic below shows a map of France with the position of each department in the table. Highest rated departments are in dark blue, whilst those with the lowest rating are coloured dark orange.
If it is only sunshine and hot weather that is of interest to you, then you are going to need to select from those departments in the Mediterranean, although with climate change the area may no longer be the most enlightened choice. The departments of Var and Bouches-du-Rhône take equal first place in the study. See our piece Sunniest Departments in France.
Those looking for cheap property need to consider Indre in the Centre region, Nièvre in Burgundy, or Meuse in Lorraine, who take the top three places of cheapest department to buy property in France. Others in the top ten include Creuse, Correze, and Haute Loire. See our piece Rural House Prices 2022.
For those who consider health is their main priority, then you should consider living in Paris, Bouches-du-Rhône or Gironde.
Top spot for the quality of the environment goes to Lozère, followed by Ariège and Pyrénées-Orientales.