“Well, It Isn’t Paris”
This weekend some of France’s real estate industry people are heading across the English Channel to London for the French Property Exhibition now in its 16th year, including me. There will be more than 150 exhibitors — I’ll be participating at stand #182 of John Howell & Co. of Europe Law, the attorneys with whom we co-host the Invest in France Conferences.
Naturally, I’ll be Eurostarring it from the Gare du Nord to Waterloo Station in a breezy two-and-one-half-hours, with my laptop and reading material to while away the time. Among the documents I am taking is a 60-page report from the Mairie of Paris I received this morning thanks to my favorite “little birdie” in the City of Paris administration who keeps me informed of what’s hot and what’s not, what’s in and what’s out, what’s on and what’s off. It’s from the Direction du Développement Econimique et de l’Emploi — a report on the demographic and socia-economic structure of each arrondissement of Paris. How fascinating!
Let me share a few tidbits that surprised me…
There are 6300 inhabitants in the 3rd arrondissement (where I live) of foreign nationality, representing 18.3% of the population of the district, compared with 14.5% citywide. I expected it to be lower than the 6th arrondissement, which is such a big attraction particularly for Americans (there are more short-term rental apartments in the 6th than in any other!). However, there are fewer — 5400 of foreign nationality, representing 12% of the district’s population. The arrondissement with the least numbers of foreign residents?…the 12th with 9.8% and the most?…surprisingly, the 2nd with 21.5%!
The report does not attempt to break down the various nationalities, but in both the 2nd and 3rd, there are many wholesalers and small factories, many of which are owned and operated by the Chinese residents. I can only guess that this contributes to the high numbers.
The most heavily populated district in Paris is the 15th with 225,360 inhabitants, 10.6% of the Paris population. Not surprising, considering it is also Paris largest geographic area with 8.5 square kilometers. The least populated is the 1st, with 16,890 inhabitants, not even one percent, in less than two square kilometers. Geographically, the smallest district of Paris is the 2nd — not even one square kilometer, followed by the 3rd with just over one square kilometer. No wonder it feels so much like a little village!
When I’m back from London on Monday, I’m sure I’ll have tales to tell and lots of comparisons to make between these two great cities of Europe. The Eurostar high speed train being as simple, easy, fast and inexpensive as it is to get from center city to center city in what feels like the blink of an eye, makes a weekend excursion there no more difficult than a trip across town to have dinner with friends…so I find myself there often enough.
Still, when someone asks me “how was London?”…the answer remains the same: “Well, it isn’t Paris.”
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
Email [email protected]
P.S. See http://www.french-property-news.com/fpn/septvisit.htm for more information about the French Property Exhibition in London and /frenchproperty/conference/index.html about the Invest in France Conferences…REMINDER: today is the deadline for the Early Bird Registration.)