People and culture in Paris

Paris is a universal city, and its inhabitants represent a fantastic mix of cultures, religions, backgrounds and wealth.

The people who live in Paris are pretty different from those who live in other parts of France. Wages are higher in Paris, and the median age of people in the city is younger than that of France as a whole (41.1 years). They also live hectic lives and are more relaxed.

The people of Paris are quite diverse. Paris-born Parisians are exceeded by those born outside the city, many of whom keep their provincial or international ties. Around 23% of the population moved to Paris sometime after they were born.20% of the Parisian population consists of first-generation immigrants, and at least 40% of children who live in the city have one parent who was a first generation immigrant. Emigration levels are almost just as high in Paris as immigration levels. People tend to relocate to the city when they are young, yet once they reach retirement age, they move to the countryside to live more peaceful and less expensive life.

As a result of high immigration rates, many shops, restaurants, and neighborhoods have a French regional or international flavor. While most nonnative Parisians are French, more than one-tenth of the population is foreign-born. About a third of the city’s foreign citizens are from European Union member countries, but the largest immigrant groups are peoples of African origin. These families group in the poorer northern quarters or, increasingly, in the peripheral suburbs surrounding the capital.


Some stereotypes about the French people include that they are typically smokers, slim and slender, drink a lot of wine and coffee and are the ultimate romantics. The French focus on beautiful things in life and take time to indulge in them.

French people are entirely private. The culture is much more intimate, and they can come across as closed for some.Such reserved nature may give the impression that the French are rude.

French people are very proud of their nationality, from food to clothing to language. It is especially important to be appreciative and respectful of French culture. They are typically offended by any negative comments about their country.

The French believe in equality, and is part of their country's motto: " Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité." (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity) Many say that between these three words, equality comes first for French.

For the French, language is more than just a form of communication. They feel responsible for keeping their language pure. The most important thing is that you try to speak French whenever possible.

Etiquette & Customs

Parisians tend to be formal when it comes to language, dress, common courtesy, and even food.


Parisians like pleasantries and take manners seriously. The French always say “bonjour” when entering a restaurant, shop, or even elevator, and “au revoir” when they leave.

The French have two registers for addressing someone as 'you': “ tu” is the more casual form, and is used for a person you know very well, and “ vous”the formal and plural form. It’s always better to start with “ vous” to avoid any awkward social situations until you are invited to use ' tu.'

In public places, such as a subway or a bus, frenchdon't usually make eye contact or smile at strangers, and they keep their voice low when speaking. French keep Privacy in homes too, so that doors to bedrooms and bathrooms are kept closed.


Eating and mealtimes are significant cultural experiences in France.Parisians like to take the time to enjoy each meal and are seldom seen eating on the go in the street or on the metro.

In France, the concept of customer service is much different from many other parts of the world. Part of the French attitude is a rejection of feudalism that comes from the time of the French Revolution, where they overthrew their aristocrats. In France, the customer is not always right.

Love and Marriage

The French express romance and passion, but when it comes to relationships, French people are incredibly realistic. They don't date. They meet potential partners in social settings, rather than one to one dinners. When it comes to spending time one to one, they prefer a casual walk or going to a museum. Secrecy is crucial to a relationship, so Instagram and Facebook posts showing how happy they are aren't popular in France.

For French, marriage is not the end goal. They believe that a wedding isn't everything. There is an open approach toward sex outside of marriage, and it is not rare unmarried couples having children. French never stop trying hard to keep the romance alive.

Besides traditional marriage, French couples also have the choice of getting a Pactecivil de solidarité, commonly known as PACS. It is a contractual form of civil union that brings rights and responsibilities of marriage.

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