Are you looking for a place to work and live that offers a high quality of life, excellent education, and exceptional healthcare services, all at an affordable cost? Look no further than Paris Region, a vibrant and diverse Region that offers something for everyone and all budgets.
Paris Region is both the Region with the highest concentration of jobs in France and the one with the highest salaries. The outstanding and affordable public services - including top-notch transportation, education, and healthcare – allows many newcomers to benefit from a good quality of life at a lower expense than average. Moreover, with an incomparable cultural and leisure scene, paid leave, public holidays, and current flex office work arrangements, not to mention the abundance of coworking spaces, Paris Region has become a top-of-the-list destination for people wanting the perfect work-life balance.
But the benefits don't stop here. Paris Region isn't just Paris - it's a vast and diverse Region that offers something for everyone and for all budgets, whether you're looking for affordable housing, delicious cuisine, or outdoor activities. Many French and expat people opt to live in the suburbs of Paris, where they can enjoy larger homes with outdoor spaces at a very reasonable cost, while still being close to the transportation network and the city center.
France's educational system ranks among the best in the world. From the age of three, pupils of all nationalities can benefit from a variety of high-quality educational options in Paris Region, including public schools that offer free education and specific support for non-native French speakers.
International schooling and bicultural education are offered even in public schools, via the International Sections or the European School, where schooling is free in most schools, or very affordable (less than 6500€ per year for some schools). Private schools that prepare a foreign diploma (IB, High School Diploma,...) welcome many children from expatriate families at costs that can range from 5,000 to €35,000/year, depending on their school level.
When it comes to higher education, France offers quality training accessible to the greatest number of people. Tuition fees in public higher education institutions are very low for French and European students, while private institutions such as business schools typically charge between €3,000 and €15,000/year. Lower tuition costs compared to other countries!
Plus, the French government offers generous support for families with young children, including subsidies and tax credits for childcare. The diverse childcare options for children under the age of 3, also include advantageous solutions for businesses and families.
Easy and Affordable Access to Healthcare
France has one of the most comprehensive and affordable healthcare systems in the world. With easy and accessible healthcare, anyone who works or resides in France on a stable and regular basis is entitled to coverage of their healthcare expenses throughout their lifetime, thanks to the French health insurance system.
The system covers a significant portion of health care costs, including appointments, medication, and hospitalization, reimbursing on average more than 70% of expenses in addition to complementary health insurance. This means that insured people benefit from some of the lowest remaining costs in the world.
Helma International, one of our international mobility consulting partners, points out that “it is also legally required for French employers to enroll their employees to private insurance on top of the social security scheme, whereas this benefit is often optional in many countries around the world. For this reason, the French are used to being almost fully reimbursed whenever they go to the hospital to get surgery or whenever they see a physician. This is also true for medication that is fully reimbursed most of the time.”
Paris Region offers excellent quality care and has a vast network of multilingual doctors, private and public. It is also possible to go to international Hospitals such as the American Hospital of Paris or the Franco-British hospital. Patients can also easily find online or teleconsultation appointments, making healthcare even more accessible. You can find an overview of health & social benefits on our Settle In guide.
From flexible working hours and the option to work remotely, to meal vouchers and vacation packages, French companies are increasingly investing in their employees' health and happiness. They offer access to health insurance and supplementary pension schemes, profit-sharing and savings plans, and even benefits in kind such as cars and accommodation.
Some companies go above and beyond by covering the cost of environmentally friendly transport (carpooling, electric bikes, etc.), supporting parenthood, providing access to inter-company crèche places, and offering discounts on social, cultural, and sporting activities.
Another advantage that Helma International highlights to its clients: “the “opt-out” system which enables foreign employees, as long as they can justify to the French authorities that they put aside at least €20K on a pension fund on a yearly basis, to avoid contributing to the French Pension scheme, which automatically enhances their net income. Its objective is to encourage the mobility or recruitment of foreign talents in France while considering that they would not necessarily benefit from the French pension scheme when retiring.”
In France, families can benefit from a range of tax advantages that provide support for their daily lives. The family quotient allows income tax to be divided based on the number of family members, resulting in a significant tax reduction. Parents can also receive a tax credit for childcare expenses for children up to 6 years of age.
According to Helma International and its “Smart Expatriation” calculator, France ranked first before Madrid, Dublin, Amsterdam, London, Luxembourg, and Frankfurt when it comes to the lowest percentage of income tax for a family of 4 (without the Tax regime for Expatriates).
In addition, expenses related to home-based employees, such as homeschooling and home maintenance, are eligible for a tax credit, enabling families to better manage the costs of their household. Other tax incentives exist to promote a better quality of life, including housing-related benefits, equipment expenses for the elderly or disabled…
A Tax Regime For Expatriates
This regime applies to employees and managers, subject to the French tax system, who are called upon from abroad to carry out a professional activity in a company established in France. Expatriates benefit from a partial tax exemption on their salaries that can reach 30% as well as on their income from movable assets (50% exemption) for up to 8 years. The portion of compensation related to the number of days worked abroad can also be exempted.
According to Helma International, the French expatriate tax regime is one of the most attractive in Europe, “France ranked second after the Netherlands in the tax gain with a 39% reduction of the tax due, when the foreign employee is eligible to this regime.”
To know if you can benefit from it, contact our legal and tax partners via our platform "Connect with our Selected Partners".
Living Well on a Budget
The cost of living in Paris Region can be higher than in some other countries, for a single person, but it's important to remember that this is a world-class city with plenty of opportunities and attractions.
However, when it comes to families, living in Paris Region is affordable compared to other main European cities if one considers the tax benefits, the public schools, or the relatively low cost of international schools compared to the UK for instance, or finally the rental prices of houses in a family-friendly neighborhood in the outskirts of Paris.
The cost of living will vary depending on your lifestyle and where you choose to live, but here are some average costs to give you an idea:
- Housing: The cost of housing in the city center of Paris can be high, with the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment ranging from €1,400-€2,000 per month. However, if you wish to reside in the Region, you’re most likely to find more affordable and spacious housing that meets your expectations.
- Food: There are plenty of affordable options and a wide selection of culinary specialties from around the world if you know where to look. On average, a meal at a mid-range restaurant will cost you around €20-€25 per person. If you go outside of Paris, you’ll definitely find more budget-friendly restaurants.
- Transportation: The Paris public transport system is efficient and affordable, with a single ticket costing €2.10, a weekly pass covering all the areas of the Region for €30, and a monthly pass for unlimited travel costing €84.10.
- Telecom operators: According to a comparative study of international prices for 2022 conducted by IBPT, France's highly competitive telecom market allows consumers to enjoy some of the lowest prices in Europe. For mobile plans, French operators offer the cheapest generous packages starting from €20 per month. When it comes to fixed internet and television, France, the most fibered country in Europe, offers the most attractive prices.
Paris Region offers a high quality of life for expats, with a quality education system, social safety net, healthcare, and many job opportunities. While the cost of living may be higher than in some other countries, the benefits of living in one of the world's most vibrant and culturally rich cities more than make up for it. Do you want to learn more? Choose Paris Region's guide Settle In is an excellent resource, as it includes tips on how to make the most of and enjoy everything the Paris Region has to offer!