Village life at risk as locals leave for city jobs

Rural France is paying a high price for economic success in the cities as people are leaving country villages in their droves for better job prospects in the city.

That has left many villages with no businesses and no shops: no boulangerie, no café, no épicerie.

Across France there are 15,000 rural communes where populations are falling or stagnating, and services such as schools and post offices are closing.

In comparison, a study by France Stratégie showed 15 cities with more than 500,000 inhabitants were home to 40% of the population and accounted for 55% of salaries earned.

These cities create 50% more GDP per head than the rest of France, with Paris alone accounting for a third of French GDP.

However, urban areas (towns of more than 100,000 people) are also home to 65% of France’s poorest households.

The picture is different ...

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