France Voted Best Place to Live
Fine wine, gorgeous countryside and a fantastic health care system, who wouldn’t want to live in France? According to CNN, France has been voted the best place in the world to live for the fifth year in a row by International Living magazine, which has been analyzing data and publishing its annual Quality of Life Index for 30 years.
One of the reasons France keeps winning the ranking is its world-class health care system. Bindi Dupouy, a 28-year-old Austrailian lawyer who lives in France with her French husband, just had a baby and received almost five months paid maternity leave. She can take another seven months off beyond that–a year in total–unpaid, if she wants, with her job guaranteed under French law. When her son Louis was born, healthy and by way of a normal delivery, she got to stay in her local French hospital for five full days, to rest.
“They treat expecting mums like treasures here,” Dupouy said. “They take really good care of you. The health care system is just amazing.” She said she wouldn’t have received the same maternity leave–or care–back home in Australia. At her job, Dupouy also receives seven weeks paid vacation a year.
In addition to all the work and health perks, Parisians also enjoy an inexpensive metro system and computerized bike rental stations. The article does note that many Americans have an idealized view of France, with its romance and fine wine. In reality, France also has plenty of problems with youth unemployment and attitudes about immigrants.
Following France in the top ten are Australia, Switzerland, Germany, New Zealand, Luxembourg, the U.S., Belgium, Canada and Italy, and in that order.