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Inside the Market / Market Trends

One in five homes in Paris are overcrowded, INSEE reports

Paris looking out the window @Sylvia Davis

Over twenty percent of homes in Paris are too small for the number of people living in them, according to new housing figures published by INSEE, France’s National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies.

No surprises here, considering that the Worldwide Cost of Living Survey identifies Paris as the most expensive city in Europe. The biannual survey, published by the Economist Intelligence Unit, measures the cost of more than 160 services and products – including food, clothing and utility bills – in each of 133 cities worldwide. Paris came in at the top spot in Europe, and second only to Singapore as the most expensive city in the world.

To define ‘overcrowding’, INSEE considered the number of rooms necessary for a family or group of occupants sharing a home: one common room, one room for each couple, one room for single men and women over the age of 19, and one room for every two children. As reported by Boursier, a second criterion taken into consideration is the size of the living space: a minimum of 25m² per person for persons living alone, and 18m² per person if living as part of a group.

While it could be expected that Parisians would live in more crowded quarters than elsewhere in France, the difference is significant. The INSEE report found that one in five homes in the capital are overpopulated, compared with only one in twelve in France as a whole. What’s more, the newly-released report is based on figures dating back to 2013; with the increasing rental prices in Paris, it is reasonable to assume that the proportion of overcrowded apartments may be even higher today.

In recent years, Paris has been taking important steps to address the lack of affordable housing and to promote more social diversity throughout the city. Recent efforts include requiring a number of  low income housing units in new residential developments, and inaugurating mixed-income buildings in the most affluent Paris neighborhoods.



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