Paris is the capital of France and the country's most populous city. The diverse economy of Paris is essentially a service economy, with business and financial services generating nearly half of the Paris Region's GDP. France is in Western Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay and English Channel, between Belgium and Spain, southeast of the UK; bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Italy and Spain. Generally cool winters and mild summers, but mild winters and hot summers along the Mediterranean; occasional strong, cold, dry, north-to-north-westerly wind known as mistral. Mostly flat plains or gently rolling hills in north and west; remainder is mountainous, especially Pyrenees in south, Alps in east. The official language is French. English is commonly spoken in major cities and in business circles. Visitors, particularly native English speakers, should try to speak at least a few words of French. Do not use the familiar 'tu' form of address unless invited to do so. The main religion is Christianity. The economy of France is a mixed economy which is the fifth largest economy in the world, by measurement of GDP (nominal), behind the United States, Japan, China and Germany. It is the second largest economy in Europe. The security risk for expatriates in France is low. Risks include low levels of petty / street crime in major urban areas, especially in tourist areas, disruptions related to strikes, and terrorism. The population in Paris is 12.1 Mil (2014 est.), while the inflation rate is 0.5% (2014 est.).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates in Paris as at 1 July 2015 is very high in comparison to other places in the world. In Paris, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average in USD, is categorized follows: 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Average 2) Clothing: Very High 3) Communication: High 4) Education: Average 5) Furniture & Appliances: High 6) Groceries: Very High 7) Healthcare: Average 8) Household Accommodation: Very High 9) Miscellaneous: High 10) Personal Care: High 11) Recreation & Culture: Very High 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Very High 13) Transport: Very High Paris is for example 24.3% more expensive than Montevideo for groceries, 35.3% more expensive for household costs than Durban, and 35.5% more expensive for transport costs than Athens. Paris is ranked as a minimal hardship location. Hardship (also know as quality of living) refers to the degree of hardship an expatriate and their family are likely to experience in the host location. Hardship pay is compensation to encourage people to move, in particular to less desirable locations. In determining the amount of hardship premium payable, factors such as economic, political, religious, infrastructure, environment/climate, personal safety, health, education, and transportation factors are considered. The hardship premium for Paris for an expat from Zurich is for example 0%, i.e. host location (Paris) premium of 10% minus home (Zurich) location premium of 10%. Xpatulator.com has been created to assist subscribers calculate expatriate pay using the online calculators and extensive database of cost of living and hardship indexes, for 780 international locations. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship or expat pay in Paris? Register subscribe to your home location and Paris and run your personalised reports.