Paris (French pronunciation: [paʁi] (About this soundlisten)) is the capital and most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents as of 2018, in an area of more than 105 square kilometres (41 square miles). Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe’s major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, gastronomy, science, and arts. The City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the region and province of Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated population of 12,174,880, or about 18 percent of the population of France as of 2017. The Paris Region had a GDP of €709 billion ($808 billion) in 2017. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore and ahead of Zürich, Hong Kong, Oslo, and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on par with Singapore and Hong Kong, in 2018.
Paris is a major railway, highway, and air-transport hub served by two international airports: Paris–Charles de Gaulle (the second-busiest airport in Europe) and Paris–Orly. Opened in 1900, the city’s subway system, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily; it is the second-busiest metro system in Europe after the Moscow Metro. Gare du Nord is the 24th-busiest railway station in the world, but the busiest located outside Japan, with 262 million passengers in 2015. Paris is especially known for its museums and architectural landmarks: the Louvre remained the most-visited museum in the world with 2,677,504 visitors in 2020, despite the long museum closings caused by the COVID-19 virus. The Musée d’Orsay, Musée Marmottan Monet and Musée de l’Orangerie are noted for their collections of French Impressionist art. The Pompidou Centre Musée National d’Art Moderne has the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe. The Musée Rodin and Musée Picasso exhibit the works of two noted Parisians. The historical district along the Seine in the city centre has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991; popular landmarks there include the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris on the Île de la Cité, now closed for renovation after the 15 April 2019 fire. Other popular tourist sites include the Gothic royal chapel of Sainte-Chapelle, also on the Île de la Cité; the Eiffel Tower, constructed for the Paris Universal Exposition of 1889; the Grand Palais and Petit Palais, built for the Paris Universal Exposition of 1900; the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs-Élysées, and the hill of Montmartre with its artistic history and its Basilica of Sacré-Coeur.
Paris received 12.6 million visitors in 2020, measured by hotel stays, a drop of 73 percent from 2019, due to the COVID-19 virus. The number of foreign visitors declined by 80.7 percent. Museums re-opened in 2021, with limitations on the number of visitors at a time and a requirement that visitors wear masks.
The football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are based in Paris. The 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north of Paris in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Denis. Paris hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros. The city hosted the Olympic Games in 1900, 1924 and will host the 2024 Summer Olympics. The 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, the 2007 Rugby World Cup, as well as the 1960, 1984 and 2016 UEFA European Championships were also held in the city. Every July, the Tour de France bicycle race finishes on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris.
The ancient oppidum that corresponds to the modern city of Paris was first mentioned in the mid-1st century BC by Julius Caesar as Luteciam Parisiorum (‘Lutetia of the Parisii’), and is later attested as Parision in the 5th century AD, then as Paris in 1265. During the Roman period, it was commonly known as Lutetia or Lutecia in Latin, and as Leukotekía in Greek, which is interpreted as either stemming from the Celtic root *lukot- (‘mouse’), or from *luto- (‘marsh, swamp’), depending on whether the Latin or Greek form is the closest to the original Gaulish name.
The name Paris is derived from its early inhabitants, the Parisii (Gaulish: Parisioi), a Gallic tribe from the Iron Age and the Roman period. The meaning of the Gaulish ethnonym remains debated. According to Xavier Delamarre, it may derive from the Celtic root pario- (‘cauldron’). Alfred Holder interpreted the name as ‘the makers’ or ‘the commanders’, by comparing it to the Welsh peryff (‘lord, commander’), both possibly descending from a Proto-Celtic form reconstructed as *kwar-is-io-. Alternatively, Pierre-Yves Lambert proposed to translate Parisii as the ‘spear people’, by connecting the first element to the Old Irish carr (‘spear’), derived from an earlier *kwar-sā. In any case, the city’s name is not related to the Paris of Greek mythology.
Paris is often referred to as the ‘City of Light’ (La Ville Lumière), both because of its leading role during the Age of Enlightenment and more literally because Paris was one of the first large European cities to use gas street lighting on a grand scale on its boulevards and monuments. Gas lights were installed on the Place du Carrousel, Rue de Rivoli and Place Vendome in 1829. By 1857, the Grand boulevards were lit. By the 1860s, the boulevards and streets of Paris were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps. Since the late 19th century, Paris has also been known as Panam(e) (pronounced [panam]) in French slang.
Inhabitants are known in English as "Parisians" and in French as Parisiens ([paʁizjɛ̃] (About this soundlisten)). They are also pejoratively called Parigots ([paʁiɡo] (About this soundlisten)).[note 1]
Main articles: History of Paris and Timeline of Paris
Main article: Lutetia
The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, inhabited the Paris area from around the middle of the 3rd century BC. One of the area’s major north–south trade routes crossed the Seine on the île de la Cité; this meeting place of land and water trade routes gradually became an important trading centre. The Parisii traded with many river towns (some as far away as the Iberian Peninsula) and minted their own coins for that purpose.
Gold coins minted by the Parisii (1st century BC)
The Romans conquered the Paris Basin in 52 BC and began their settlement on Paris’s Left Bank. The Roman town was originally called Lutetia (more fully, Lutetia Parisiorum, "Lutetia of the Parisii", modern French Lutèce). It became a prosperous city with a forum, baths, temples, theatres, and an amphitheatre.
By the end of the Western Roman Empire, the town was known as Parisius, a Latin name that would later become Paris in French. Christianity was introduced in the middle of the 3rd century AD by Saint Denis, the first Bishop of Paris: according to legend, when he refused to renounce his faith before the Roman occupiers, he was beheaded on the hill which became known as Mons Martyrum (Latin "Hill of Martyrs"), later "Montmartre", from where he walked headless to the north of the city; the place where he fell and was buried became an important religious shrine, the Basilica of Saint-Denis, and many French kings are buried there.
Clovis the Frank, the first king of the Merovingian dynasty, made the city his capital from 508. As the Frankish domination of Gaul began, there was a gradual immigration by the Franks to Paris and the Parisian Francien dialects were born. Fortification of the Île de la Cité failed to avert sacking by Vikings in 845, but Paris’s strategic importance—with its bridges preventing ships from passing—was established by successful defence in the Siege of Paris (885–886), for which the then Count of Paris (comte de Paris), Odo of France, was elected king of West Francia. From the Capetian dynasty that began with the 987 election of Hugh Capet, Count of Paris and Duke of the Franks (duc des Francs), as king of a unified Francia, Paris gradually became the largest and most prosperous city in France.
High and Late Middle Ages to Louis XIV
See also: Paris in the Middle Ages, Paris in the 16th century, and Paris in the 17th century
The Palais de la Cité and Sainte-Chapelle, viewed from the Left Bank, from the Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry (month of June) (1410)
The Palais de la Cité and Sainte-Chapelle, viewed from the Left Bank, from the Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry (month of June) (1410)
By the end of the 12th century, Paris had become the political, economic, religious, and cultural capital of France. The Palais de la Cité, the royal residence, was located at the western end of the Île de la Cité. In 1163, during the reign of Louis VII, Maurice de Sully, bishop of Paris, undertook the construction of the Notre Dame Cathedral at its eastern extremity.
After the marshland between the river Seine and its slower ‘dead arm’ to its north was filled in from around the 10th century, Paris’s cultural centre began to move to the Right Bank. In 1137, a new city marketplace (today’s Les Halles) replaced the two smaller ones on the Île de la Cité and Place de la Grève (Place de l’Hôtel de Ville). The latter location housed the headquarters of Paris’s river trade corporation, an organisation that later became, unofficially (although formally in later years), Paris’s first municipal government.
In the late 12th century, Philip Augustus extended the Louvre fortress to defend the city against river invasions from the west, gave the city its first walls between 1190 and 1215, rebuilt its bridges to either side of its central island, and paved its main thoroughfares. In 1190, he transformed Paris’s former cathedral school into a student-teacher corporation that would become the University of Paris and would draw students from all of Europe.
With 200,000 inhabitants in 1328, Paris, then already the capital of France, was the most populous city of Europe. By comparison, London in 1300 had 80,000 inhabitants.
The Hôtel de Sens, one of many remnants of the Middle Ages in Paris
During the Hundred Years’ War, Paris was occupied by England-friendly Burgundian forces from 1418, before being occupied outright by the English when Henry V of England entered the French capital in 1420; in spite of a 1429 effort by Joan of Arc to liberate the city, it would remain under English occupation until 1436.
In the late 16th-century French Wars of Religion, Paris was a stronghold of the Catholic League, the organisers of 24 August 1572 St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre in which thousands of French Protestants were killed. The conflicts ended when pretender to the throne Henry IV, after converting to Catholicism to gain entry to the capital, entered the city in 1594 to claim the crown of France. This king made several improvements to the capital during his reign: he completed the construction of Paris’s first uncovered, sidewalk-lined bridge, the Pont Neuf, built a Louvre extension connecting it to the Tuileries Palace, and created the first Paris residential square, the Place Royale, now Place des Vosges. In spite of Henry IV’s efforts to improve city circulation, the narrowness of Paris’s streets was a contributing factor in his assassination near Les Halles marketplace in 1610.
During the 17th century, Cardinal Richelieu, chief minister of Louis XIII, was determined to make Paris the most beautiful city in Europe. He built five new bridges, a new chapel for the College of Sorbonne, and a palace for himself, the Palais-Cardinal, which he bequeathed to Louis XIII. After Richelieu’s death in 1642, it was renamed the Palais-Royal.
Due to the Parisian uprisings during the Fronde civil war, Louis XIV moved his court to a new palace, Versailles, in 1682. Although no longer the capital of France, arts and sciences in the city flourished with the Comédie-Française, the Academy of Painting, and the French Academy of Sciences. To demonstrate that the city was safe from attack, the king had the city walls demolished and replaced with tree-lined boulevards that would become the Grands Boulevards of today. Other marks of his reign were the Collège des Quatre-Nations, the Place Vendôme, the Place des Victoires, and Les Invalides.
18th and 19th centuries
See also: Paris in the 18th century, Paris during the Second Empire, and Haussmann’s renovation of Paris
Paris grew in population from about 400,000 in 1640 to 650,000 in 1780. A new boulevard, the Champs-Élysées, extended the city west to Étoile, while the working-class neighbourhood of the Faubourg Saint-Antoine on the eastern site of the city grew more and more crowded with poor migrant workers from other regions of France.
Paris was the centre of an explosion of philosophic and scientific activity known as the Age of Enlightenment. Diderot and d’Alembert published their Encyclopédie in 1751, and the Montgolfier Brothers launched the first manned flight in a hot-air balloon on 21 November 1783, from the gardens of the Château de la Muette. Paris was the financial capital of continental Europe, the primary European centre of book publishing and fashion and the manufacture of fine furniture and luxury goods.
The storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, by Jean-Pierre Houël
In the summer of 1789, Paris became the centre stage for the French Revolution. On 14 July, a mob seized the arsenal at the Invalides, acquiring thousands of guns, and stormed the Bastille, a symbol of royal authority. The first independent Paris Commune, or city council, met in the Hôtel de Ville and, on 15 July, elected a Mayor, the astronomer Jean Sylvain Bailly.
Louis XVI and the royal family were brought to Paris and made prisoners within the Tuileries Palace. In 1793, as the revolution turned more and more radical, the king, queen, and the mayor were guillotined (executed) in the Reign of Terror, along with more than 16,000 others throughout France. The property of the aristocracy and the church was nationalised, and the city’s churches were closed, sold or demolished. A succession of revolutionary factions ruled Paris until 9 November 1799 (coup d’état du 18 brumaire), when Napoléon Bonaparte seized power as First Consul.
The Panthéon, a major landmark on the Rive Gauche, was completed in 1790.
The population of Paris had dropped by 100,000 during the Revolution, but between 1799 and 1815, it surged with 160,000 new residents, reaching 660,000. Napoleon Bonaparte replaced the elected government of Paris with a prefect reporting only to him. He began erecting monuments to military glory, including the Arc de Triomphe, and improved the neglected infrastructure of the city with new fountains, the Canal de l’Ourcq, Père Lachaise Cemetery and the city’s first metal bridge, the Pont des Arts.
During the Restoration, the bridges and squares of Paris were returned to their pre-Revolution names; the July Revolution in 1830 (commemorated by the July Column on the Place de la Bastille) brought a constitutional monarch, Louis Philippe I, to power. The first railway line to Paris opened in 1837, beginning a new period of massive migration from the provinces to the city. Louis-Philippe was overthrown by a popular uprising in the streets of Paris in 1848. His successor, Napoleon III, alongside the newly appointed prefect of the Seine, Georges-Eugène Haussmann, launched a gigantic public works project to build wide new boulevards, a new opera house, a central market, new aqueducts, sewers and parks, including the Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes. In 1860, Napoleon III also annexed the surrounding towns and created eight new arrondissements, expanding Paris to its current limits.
In the 1860s, Paris streets and monuments were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps, giving it the name "The City of Light"
During the Franco-Prussian War (1870–1871), Paris was besieged by the Prussian Army. After months of blockade, hunger, and then bombardment by the Prussians, the city was forced to surrender on 28 January 1871. On 28 March, a revolutionary government called the Paris Commune seized power in Paris. The Commune held power for two months, until it was harshly suppressed by the French army during the "Bloody Week" at the end of May 1871.
The Eiffel Tower, under construction in November 1888, startled Parisians — and the world — with its modernity.
Late in the 19th century, Paris hosted two major international expositions: the 1889 Universal Exposition, was held to mark the centennial of the French Revolution and featured the new Eiffel Tower; and the 1900 Universal Exposition, which gave Paris the Pont Alexandre III, the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais and the first Paris Métro line. Paris became the laboratory of Naturalism (Émile Zola) and Symbolism (Charles Baudelaire and Paul Verlaine), and of Impressionism in art (Courbet, Manet, Monet, Renoir).
20th and 21st centuries
See also: Paris in the Belle Époque, Paris during the First World War, Paris between the Wars (1919–1939), Paris in World War II, and History of Paris (1946–2000)
By 1901, the population of Paris had grown to about 2,715,000. At the beginning of the century, artists from around the world including Pablo Picasso, Modigliani, and Henri Matisse made Paris their home. It was the birthplace of Fauvism, Cubism and abstract art, and authors such as Marcel Proust were exploring new approaches to literature.
During the First World War, Paris sometimes found itself on the front line; 600 to 1,000 Paris taxis played a small but highly important symbolic role in transporting 6,000 soldiers to the front line at the First Battle of the Marne. The city was also bombed by Zeppelins and shelled by German long-range guns. In the years after the war, known as Les Années Folles, Paris continued to be a mecca for writers, musicians and artists from around the world, including Ernest Hemingway, Igor Stravinsky, James Joyce, Josephine Baker, Eva Kotchever, Henry Miller, Anaïs Nin, Sidney Bechet Allen Ginsberg and the surrealist Salvador Dalí.
In the years after the peace conference, the city was also home to growing numbers of students and activists from French colonies and other Asian and African countries, who later became leaders of their countries, such as Ho Chi Minh, Zhou Enlai and Léopold Sédar Senghor.
General Charles de Gaulle on the Champs-Élysées celebrating the liberation of Paris, 26 August 1944
On 14 June 1940, the German army marched into Paris, which had been declared an "open city". On 16–17 July 1942, following German orders, the French police and gendarmes arrested 12,884 Jews, including 4,115 children, and confined them during five days at the Vel d’Hiv (Vélodrome d’Hiver), from which they were transported by train to the extermination camp at Auschwitz. None of the children came back. On 25 August 1944, the city was liberated by the French 2nd Armoured Division and the 4th Infantry Division of the United States Army. General Charles de Gaulle led a huge and emotional crowd down the Champs Élysées towards Notre Dame de Paris, and made a rousing speech from the Hôtel de Ville.
In the 1950s and the 1960s, Paris became one front of the Algerian War for independence; in August 1961, the pro-independence FLN targeted and killed 11 Paris policemen, leading to the imposition of a curfew on Muslims of Algeria (who, at that time, were French citizens). On 17 October 1961, an unauthorised but peaceful protest demonstration of Algerians against the curfew led to violent confrontations between the police and demonstrators, in which at least 40 people were killed, including some thrown into the Seine. The anti-independence Organisation armée secrète (OAS), for their part, carried out a series of bombings in Paris throughout 1961 and 1962.
In May 1968, protesting students occupied the Sorbonne and put up barricades in the Latin Quarter. Thousands of Parisian blue-collar workers joined the students, and the movement grew into a two-week general strike. Supporters of the government won the June elections by a large majority. The May 1968 events in France resulted in the break-up of the University of Paris into 13 independent campuses. In 1975, the National Assembly changed the status of Paris to that of other French cities and, on 25 March 1977, Jacques Chirac became the first elected mayor of Paris since 1793. The Tour Maine-Montparnasse, the tallest building in the city at 57 storeys and 210 metres (689 feet) high, was built between 1969 and 1973. It was highly controversial, and it remains the only building in the centre of the city over 32 storeys high. The population of Paris dropped from 2,850,000 in 1954 to 2,152,000 in 1990, as middle-class families moved to the suburbs. A suburban railway network, the RER (Réseau Express Régional), was built to complement the Métro; the Périphérique expressway encircling the city, was completed in 1973.
Most of the postwar’s Presidents of the Fifth Republic wanted to leave their own monuments in Paris; President Georges Pompidou started the Centre Georges Pompidou (1977), Valéry Giscard d’Estaing began the Musée d’Orsay (1986); President François Mitterrand, in power for 14 years, built the Opéra Bastille (1985–1989), the new site of the Bibliothèque nationale de France (1996), the Arche de la Défense (1985–1989), and the Louvre Pyramid with its underground courtyard (1983–1989); Jacques Chirac (2006), the Musée du quai Branly.
Western Paris in 2016, as photographed by a SkySat satellite.
In the early 21st century, the population of Paris began to increase slowly again, as more young people moved into the city. It reached 2.25 million in 2011. In March 2001, Bertrand Delanoë became the first Socialist Mayor of Paris. In 2007, in an effort to reduce car traffic in the city, he introduced the Vélib’, a system which rents bicycles for the use of local residents and visitors. Bertrand Delanoë also transformed a section of the highway along the Left Bank of the Seine into an urban promenade and park, the Promenade des Berges de la Seine, which he inaugurated in June 2013.
In 2007, President Nicolas Sarkozy launched the Grand Paris project, to integrate Paris more closely with the towns in the region around it. After many modifications, the new area, named the Metropolis of Grand Paris, with a population of 6.7 million, was created on 1 January 2016. In 2011, the City of Paris and the national government approved the plans for the Grand Paris Express, totalling 205 kilometres (127 miles) of automated metro lines to connect Paris, the innermost three departments around Paris, airports and high-speed rail (TGV) stations, at an estimated cost of €35 billion. The system is scheduled to be completed by 2030.
Further information: 1995 France bombings, Charlie Hebdo shooting, November 2015 Paris attacks, Louvre machete attack, March 2017 Île-de-France attacks, and April 2017 Champs-Élysées attack
Anti-terrorism demonstration on the Place de la République after the Charlie Hebdo shooting, 11 January 2015
Between July and October 1995, a series of bombings carried out by the Armed Islamic Group of Algeria caused 8 deaths and more than 200 injuries.
On 7 January 2015, two French Muslim extremists attacked the Paris headquarters of Charlie Hebdo and killed thirteen people, in an attack claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and on 9 January, a third terrorist, who claimed he was part of ISIL, killed four hostages during an attack at a Jewish grocery store at Porte de Vincennes. On 11 January an estimated 1.5 million people marched in Paris in a show of solidarity against terrorism and in support of freedom of speech. On 13 November of the same year, a series of coordinated bomb and gunfire terrorist attacks in Paris and Saint-Denis, claimed by ISIL, killed 130 people and injured more than 350.
On 3 February 2017, a two-backpack-carrying, machete-wielding attacker shouting "Allahu Akbar" attacked soldiers guarding the Louvre museum after they stopped him because of his bags; the assailant was shot, and no explosives were found. On 18 March of the same year, in a Vitry-sur-Seine bar, a man held patrons hostage, then fled to later hold a gun to the head of an Orly Airport French soldier, shouting "I am here to die in the name of Allah", and was shot dead by the soldier’s comrades. On 20 April, a man fatally shot a French police officer on the Champs-Élysées, and was later shot dead himself. On 19 June, a man rammed his weapons-and-explosives-laden vehicle into a police van on the Champs-Élysées, but the car only burst into flames.
Main article: Geography of Paris
Satellite image of Paris by Sentinel-2
Paris in the night from a plane
Paris is located in northern central France, in a north-bending arc of the river Seine whose crest includes two islands, the Île Saint-Louis and the larger Île de la Cité, which form the oldest part of the city. The river’s mouth on the English Channel (La Manche) is about 233 mi (375 km) downstream from the city. The city is spread widely on both banks of the river. Overall, the city is relatively flat, and the lowest point is 35 m (115 ft) above sea level. Paris has several prominent hills, the highest of which is Montmartre at 130 m (427 ft).
Excluding the outlying parks of Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes, Paris covers an oval measuring about 87 km2 (34 sq mi) in area, enclosed by the 35 km (22 mi) ring road, the Boulevard Périphérique. The city’s last major annexation of outlying territories in 1860 not only gave it its modern form but also created the 20 clockwise-spiralling arrondissements (municipal boroughs). From the 1860 area of 78 km2 (30 sq mi), the city limits were expanded marginally to 86.9 km2 (33.6 sq mi) in the 1920s. In 1929, the Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes forest parks were officially annexed to the city, bringing its area to about 105 km2 (41 sq mi). The metropolitan area of the city is 2,300 km2 (890 sq mi).
Measured from the ‘point zero’ in front of its Notre-Dame cathedral, Paris by road is 450 kilometres (280 mi) southeast of London, 287 kilometres (178 mi) south of Calais, 305 kilometres (190 mi) southwest of Brussels, 774 kilometres (481 mi) north of Marseille, 385 kilometres (239 mi) northeast of Nantes, and 135 kilometres (84 mi) southeast of Rouen.
Main article: Climate of Paris
Autumn in Paris
Paris has a typical Western European oceanic climate (Köppen: Cfb), which is affected by the North Atlantic Current. The overall climate throughout the year is mild and moderately wet. Summer days are usually warm and pleasant with average temperatures between 15 and 25 °C (59 and 77 °F), and a fair amount of sunshine. Each year, however, there are a few days when the temperature rises above 32 °C (90 °F). Longer periods of more intense heat sometimes occur, such as the heat wave of 2003 when temperatures exceeded 30 °C (86 °F) for weeks, reached 40 °C (104 °F) on some days and rarely cooled down at night. Spring and autumn have, on average, mild days and fresh nights but are changing and unstable. Surprisingly warm or cool weather occurs frequently in both seasons. In winter, sunshine is scarce; days are cool, and nights are cold but generally above freezing with low temperatures around 3 °C (37 °F). Light night frosts are however quite common, but the temperature seldom dips below −5 °C (23 °F). Snow falls every year, but rarely stays on the ground. The city sometimes sees light snow or flurries with or without accumulation.
Paris has an average annual precipitation of 641 mm (25.2 in), and experiences light rainfall distributed evenly throughout the year. However, the city is known for intermittent, abrupt, heavy showers. The highest recorded temperature was 42.6 °C (108.7 °F) on 25 July 2019, and the lowest was −23.9 °C (−11.0 °F) on 10 December 1879.
Climate data for Paris (Parc Montsouris), elevation: 75 m (246 ft), 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1872–present
Main article: Administration of Paris
See also: Arrondissements of Paris and List of mayors of Paris
A map of the arrondissements of Paris
For almost all of its long history, except for a few brief periods, Paris was governed directly by representatives of the king, emperor, or president of France. The city was not granted municipal autonomy by the National Assembly until 1974. For all but 14 months from 1794 to 1977, Paris was the only French commune without a mayor, and thus had less autonomy than the smallest village. For most of the time from 1800 to 1977 (except briefly in 1848 and 1870-71), it was directly controlled by the departmental prefect (the prefect of the Seine until 1968, and the prefect of Paris from 1968 to 1977).
The first modern elected mayor of Paris was Jacques Chirac, elected 20 March 1977, becoming the city’s first mayor since 1871 and only the fourth since 1794. The mayor is Anne Hidalgo, a socialist, first elected 5 April 2014 and re-elected 28 June 2020.
The mayor of Paris is elected indirectly by Paris voters; the voters of each of the city’s 20 arrondissements elect members to the Conseil de Paris (Council of Paris), which subsequently elects the mayor. The council is composed of 163 members, with each arrondissement allocated a number of seats dependent upon its population, from 10 members for each of the least-populated arrondissements (1st through 9th) to 34 members for the most populated (the 15th). The council is elected using closed list proportional representation in a two-round system. Party lists winning an absolute majority in the first round – or at least a plurality in the second round – automatically win half the seats of an arrondissement. The remaining half of seats are distributed proportionally to all lists which win at least 5% of the vote using the highest averages method. This ensures that the winning party or coalition always wins a majority of the seats, even if they don’t win an absolute majority of the vote.
The Hôtel de Ville, or city hall, has been at the same site since 1357.
Once elected, the council plays a largely passive role in the city government, primarily because it meets only once a month. The council is divided between a coalition of the left of 91 members, including the socialists, communists, greens, and extreme left; and 71 members for the centre-right, plus a few members from smaller parties.[needs update]
Each of Paris’s 20 arrondissements has its own town hall and a directly elected council (conseil d’arrondissement), which, in turn, elects an arrondissement mayor. The council of each arrondissement is composed of members of the Conseil de Paris and also members who serve only on the council of the arrondissement. The number of deputy mayors in each arrondissement varies depending upon its population. There are a total of 20 arrondissement mayors and 120 deputy mayors.
The budget of the city for 2018 is 9.5 billion Euros, with an expected deficit of 5.5 billion Euros. 7.9 billion Euros are designated for city administration, and 1.7 billion Euros for investment. The number of city employees increased from 40,000 in 2001 to 55,000 in 2018. The largest part of the investment budget is earmarked for public housing (262 million Euros) and for real estate (142 million Euros).
Métropole du Grand Paris
A map of the Greater Paris Metropolis (Métropole du Grand Paris) and its governing territories.
The Métropole du Grand Paris, or simply Grand Paris, formally came into existence on 1 January 2016. It is an administrative structure for co-operation between the City of Paris and its nearest suburbs. It includes the City of Paris, plus the communes of the three departments of the inner suburbs (Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne), plus seven communes in the outer suburbs, including Argenteuil in Val d’Oise and Paray-Vieille-Poste in Essonne, which were added to include the major airports of Paris. The Metropole covers 814 square kilometres (314 square miles) and has a population of 6.945 million persons.
The new structure is administered by a Metropolitan Council of 210 members, not directly elected, but chosen by the councils of the member Communes. By 2020 its basic competencies will include urban planning, housing and protection of the environment. The first president of the metropolitan council, Patrick Ollier, a Republican and the mayor of the town of Rueil-Malmaison, was elected on 22 January 2016. Though the Metropole has a population of nearly seven million people and accounts for 25 percent of the GDP of France, it has a very small budget: just 65 million Euros, compared with eight billion Euros for the City of Paris.
The Region of Île de France, including Paris and its surrounding communities, is governed by the Regional Council, which has its headquarters in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. It is composed of 209 members representing the different communes within the region. On 15 December 2015, a list of candidates of the Union of the Right, a coalition of centrist and right-wing parties, led by Valérie Pécresse, narrowly won the regional election, defeating a coalition of Socialists and ecologists. The Socialists had governed the region for seventeen years. The regional council has 121 members from the Union of the Right, 66 from the Union of the Left and 22 from the extreme right National Front.
The Élysée Palace, official residence of the President of the French Republic
As the capital of France, Paris is the seat of France’s national government. For the executive, the two chief officers each have their own official residences, which also serve as their offices. The President of the French Republic resides at the Élysée Palace in the 8th arrondissement, while the Prime Minister’s seat is at the Hôtel Matignon in the 7th arrondissement. Government ministries are located in various parts of the city; many are located in the 7th arrondissement, near the Hôtel Matignon.
Both houses of the French Parliament are located on the Rive Gauche. The upper house, the Senate, meets in the Palais du Luxembourg in the 6th arrondissement, while the more important lower house, the National Assembly, meets in the Palais Bourbon in the 7th arrondissement. The President of the Senate, the second-highest public official in France (the President of the Republic being the sole superior), resides in the Petit Luxembourg, a smaller palace annexe to the Palais du Luxembourg.
The Palais-Royal, residence of the Conseil d’État
Members of the National Assembly for Paris (elected in 2017)
France’s highest courts are located in Paris. The Court of Cassation, the highest court in the judicial order, which reviews criminal and civil cases, is located in the Palais de Justice on the Île de la Cité, while the Conseil d’État, which provides legal advice to the executive and acts as the highest court in the administrative order, judging litigation against public bodies, is located in the Palais-Royal in the 1st arrondissement. The Constitutional Council, an advisory body with ultimate authority on the constitutionality of laws and government decrees, also meets in the Montpensier wing of the Palais Royal.
Paris and its region host the headquarters of several international organisations including UNESCO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the International Chamber of Commerce, the Paris Club, the European Space Agency, the International Energy Agency, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, the European Union Institute for Security Studies, the International Bureau of Weights and Measures, the International Exhibition Bureau, and the International Federation for Human Rights.
Following the motto "Only Paris is worthy of Rome; only Rome is worthy of Paris"; the only sister city of Paris is Rome, although Paris has partnership agreements with many other cities around the world.
Police (Gendarmerie) motorcyclists in Paris
The security of Paris is mainly the responsibility of the Prefecture of Police of Paris, a subdivision of the Ministry of the Interior. It supervises the units of the National Police who patrol the city and the three neighbouring departments. It is also responsible for providing emergency services, including the Paris Fire Brigade. Its headquarters is on Place Louis Lépine on the Île de la Cité.
There are 30,200 officers under the prefecture, and a fleet of more than 6,000 vehicles, including police cars, motorcycles, fire trucks, boats and helicopters. The national police has its own special unit for riot control and crowd control and security of public buildings, called the Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité (CRS), a unit formed in 1944 right after the liberation of France. Vans of CRS agents are frequently seen in the centre of the city when there are demonstrations and public events.
The police are supported by the National Gendarmerie, a branch of the French Armed Forces, though their police operations now are supervised by the Ministry of the Interior. The traditional kepis of the gendarmes were replaced in 2002 with caps, and the force modernised, though they still wear kepis for ceremonial occasions.
Crime in Paris is similar to that in most large cities. Violent crime is relatively rare in the city centre. Political violence is uncommon, though very large demonstrations may occur in Paris and other French cities simultaneously. These demonstrations, usually managed by a strong police presence, can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.
Panorama of Paris as seen from the Eiffel Tower in a full 360-degree view (river flowing from north-east to south-west, right to left)
Urbanism and architecture
See also: Architecture of Paris, Haussmann’s renovation of Paris, Religious buildings in Paris, and List of tallest buildings and structures in the Paris region
Camille Pissarro, Boulevard Montmartre, 1897, Hermitage Museum
Most French rulers since the Middle Ages made a point of leaving their mark on a city that, contrary to many other of the world’s capitals, has never been destroyed by catastrophe or war. In modernising its infrastructure through the centuries, Paris has preserved even its earliest history in its street map. At its origin, before the Middle Ages, the city was composed of several islands and sandbanks in a bend of the Seine; of those, two remain today: Île Saint-Louis and the Île de la Cité. A third one is the 1827 artificially created Île aux Cygnes.
Modern Paris owes much of its downtown plan and architectural harmony to Napoleon III and his Prefect of the Seine, Baron Haussmann. Between 1853 and 1870 they rebuilt the city centre, created the wide downtown boulevards and squares where the boulevards intersected, imposed standard facades along the boulevards, and required that the facades be built of the distinctive cream-grey "Paris stone". They also built the major parks around the city centre. The high residential population of its city centre also makes it much different from most other western major cities.
Rue de Rivoli
Place des Vosges
Paris’s urbanism laws have been under strict control since the early 17th century, particularly where street-front alignment, building height and building distribution is concerned. In recent developments, a 1974–2010 building height limitation of 37 metres (121 ft) was raised to 50 m (160 ft) in central areas and 180 metres (590 ft) in some of Paris’s peripheral quarters, yet for some of the city’s more central quarters, even older building-height laws still remain in effect. The 210 metres (690 ft) Tour Montparnasse was both Paris’s and France’s tallest building since 1973, but this record has been held by the La Défense quarter Tour First tower in Courbevoie since its 2011 construction.
Parisian examples of historical architectural styles date back more than a millennium, including the Romanesque church of the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés (1014–1163), the early Gothic Architecture of the Basilica of Saint-Denis (1144), the Notre Dame Cathedral (1163–1345), the Flamboyant Gothic of Saint Chapelle (1239–1248), the Baroque churches of Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis (1627–1641) and Les Invalides (1670–1708). The 19th century produced the neoclassical church of La Madeleine (1808–1842), the Palais Garnier serving as an opera house (1875), the neo-Byzantine Basilica of Sacré-Cœur (1875–1919), as well as the exuberant Belle Époque modernism of the Eiffel Tower (1889). Striking examples of 20th-century architecture include the Centre Georges Pompidou by Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano (1977), the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie by various architects (1986), the Arab World Institute by Jean Nouvel (1987), the Louvre Pyramid by I. M. Pei (1989) and the Opéra Bastille by Carlos Ott (1989). Contemporary architecture includes the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac by Jean Nouvel (2006), the contemporary art museum of the Louis Vuitton Foundation by Frank Gehry (2014) and the new Tribunal de grande instance de Paris by Renzo Piano (2018).
The most expensive residential streets in Paris in 2018 by average price per square metre were Avenue Montaigne (8th arrondissement), at 22,372 euros per square metre; Place Dauphine (1st arrondissement; 20,373 euros) and the Rue de Furstemberg (6th arrondissement) at 18,839 euros per square metre. The total number of residences in the City of Paris in 2011 was 1,356,074, up from a former high of 1,334,815 in 2006. Among these, 1,165,541 (85.9 percent) were main residences, 91,835 (6.8 percent) were secondary residences, and the remaining 7.3 percent were empty (down from 9.2 percent in 2006).
Sixty-two percent of its buildings date from 1949 and before, 20 percent were built between 1949 and 1974, and only 18 percent of the buildings remaining were built after that date. Two-thirds of the city’s 1.3 million residences are studio and two-room apartments. Paris averages 1.9 people per residence, a number that has remained constant since the 1980s, but it is much less than Île-de-France’s 2.33 person-per-residence average. Only 33 percent of principal residence Parisians own their habitation (against 47 percent for the entire Île-de-France): the major part of the city’s population is a rent-paying one. Social or public housing represented 19.9 percent of the city’s total residences in 2017. Its distribution varies widely throughout the city, from 2.6 percent of the housing in the wealthy 7th arrondissement, to 24 percent in the 20th arrondissement, 26 percent in the 14th arrondissement and 39.9 percent in the 19th arrondissement, on the poorer southwest and northern edges of the city.
On the night of 8–9 February 2019, during a period of cold weather, a Paris NGO conducted its annual citywide count of homeless persons. They counted 3,641 homeless persons in Paris, of whom twelve percent were women. More than half had been homeless for more than a year. 2,885 were living in the streets or parks, 298 in train and metro stations, and 756 in other forms of temporary shelter. This was an increase of 588 persons since 2018.
Paris and its suburbs
Paris and its suburbs, as seen from the Spot Satellite
West of Paris seen from Tour Montparnasse in 2019
Aside from the 20th-century addition of the Bois de Boulogne, the Bois de Vincennes and the Paris heliport, Paris’s administrative limits have remained unchanged since 1860. A greater administrative Seine department had been governing Paris and its suburbs since its creation in 1790, but the rising suburban population had made it difficult to maintain as a unique entity. To address this problem, the parent "District de la région parisienne" (‘district of the Paris region’) was reorganised into several new departments from 1968: Paris became a department in itself, and the administration of its suburbs was divided between the three new departments surrounding it. The district of the Paris region was renamed "Île-de-France" in 1977, but this abbreviated "Paris region" name is still commonly used today to describe the Île-de-France, and as a vague reference to the entire Paris agglomeration. Long-intended measures to unite Paris with its suburbs began on 1 January 2016, when the Métropole du Grand Paris came into existence.
Paris’s disconnect with its suburbs, its lack of suburban transportation, in particular, became all too apparent with the Paris agglomeration’s growth. Paul Delouvrier promised to resolve the Paris-suburbs mésentente when he became head of the Paris region in 1961: two of his most ambitious projects for the Region were the construction of five suburban "villes nouvelles" ("new cities") and the RER commuter train network. Many other suburban residential districts (grands ensembles) were built between the 1960s and 1970s to provide a low-cost solution for a rapidly expanding population: These districts were socially mixed at first, but few residents actually owned their homes (the growing economy made these accessible to the middle classes only from the 1970s). Their poor construction quality and their haphazard insertion into existing urban growth contributed to their desertion by those able to move elsewhere and their repopulation by those with more limited possibilities.
These areas, quartiers sensibles ("sensitive quarters"), are in northern and eastern Paris, namely around its Goutte d’Or and Belleville neighbourhoods. To the north of the city, they are grouped mainly in the Seine-Saint-Denis department, and to a lesser extreme to the east in the Val-d’Oise department. Other difficult areas are located in the Seine valley, in Évry et Corbeil-Essonnes (Essonne), in Mureaux, Mantes-la-Jolie (Yvelines), and scattered among social housing districts created by Delouvrier’s 1961 "ville nouvelle" political initiative.
The Paris agglomeration’s urban sociology is basically that of 19th-century Paris: its fortuned classes are situated in its west and southwest, and its middle-to-lower classes are in its north and east. The remaining areas are mostly middle-class citizenry dotted with islands of fortuned populations located there due to reasons of historical importance, namely Saint-Maur-des-Fossés to the east and Enghien-les-Bains to the north of Paris.
Main article: Demographics of Paris
2015 Census Paris Region
Country/territory of birthPopulation
France Metropolitan France9,165,570
Flag of Guadeloupe (local).svg Guadeloupe80,062
Drapeau aux serpents de la Martinique.svg Martinique77,300
Ivory Coast Côte d’Ivoire55,022
Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of Congo47,091
The official estimated population of the City of Paris was 2,206,488 as of 1 January 2019, according to the INSEE, the official French statistical agency. This is a decline of 59,648 from 2015, close to the total population of the 5th arrondissement. Despite the drop, Paris remains the most densely-populated city in Europe, with 252 residents per hectare, not counting parks. This drop was attributed partly to a lower birth rate, the departure of middle-class residents and the possible loss of housing in the city due to short-term rentals for tourism.
Paris is the fourth largest municipality in the European Union, following Berlin, Madrid and Rome. Eurostat places Paris (6.5 million people) behind London (8 million) and ahead of Berlin (3.5 million), based on the 2012 populations of what Eurostat calls "urban audit core cities".
City proper, urban area, and metropolitan area population from 1800 to 2010
The population of Paris today is lower than its historical peak of 2.9 million in 1921. The principal reasons were a significant decline in household size, and a dramatic migration of residents to the suburbs between 1962 and 1975. Factors in the migration included de-industrialisation, high rent, the gentrification of many inner quarters, the transformation of living space into offices, and greater affluence among working families. The city’s population loss came to a temporary halt at the beginning of the 21st century; the population increased from 2,125,246 in 1999 to 2,240,621 in 2012, before declining again slightly in 2017. It declined again in 2018.
Paris is the core of a built-up area that extends well beyond its limits: commonly referred to as the agglomération Parisienne, and statistically as a unité urbaine (a measure of urban area), the Paris agglomeration’s 2017 population of 10,784,830 made it the largest urban area in the European Union. City-influenced commuter activity reaches well beyond even this in a statistical aire urbaine de Paris ("urban area", but a statistical method comparable to a metropolitan area), that had a 2017 population of 12,628,266, a number 19% the population of France, and the largest metropolitan area in the Eurozone.
According to Eurostat, the EU statistical agency, in 2012 the Commune of Paris was the most densely populated city in the European Union, with 21,616 people per square kilometre within the city limits (the NUTS-3 statistical area), ahead of Inner London West, which had 10,374 people per square kilometre. According to the same census, three departments bordering Paris, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne, had population densities of over 10,000 people per square kilometre, ranking among the 10 most densely populated areas of the EU.[verification needed]
According to the 2012 French census, 586,163 residents of the City of Paris, or 26.2 percent, and 2,782,834 residents of the Paris Region (Île-de-France), or 23.4 percent, were born outside of metropolitan France (the last figure up from 22.4% at the 2007 census). 26,700 of these in the City of Paris and 210,159 in the Paris Region were people born in Overseas France (more than two-thirds of whom in the French West Indies) and are therefore not counted as immigrants since they were legally French citizens at birth.
A further 103,648 in the City of Paris and in 412,114 in the Paris Region were born in foreign countries with French citizenship at birth. This concerns in particular the many Christians and Jews from North Africa who moved to France and Paris after the times of independence and are not counted as immigrants due to their being born French citizens. The remaining group, people born in foreign countries with no French citizenship at birth, are those defined as immigrants under French law. According to the 2012 census, 135,853 residents of the City of Paris were immigrants from Europe, 112,369 were immigrants from the Maghreb, 70,852 from sub-Saharan Africa and Egypt, 5,059 from Turkey, 91,297 from Asia (outside Turkey), 38,858 from the Americas, and 1,365 from the South Pacific. Note that the immigrants from the Americas and the South Pacific in Paris are vastly outnumbered by migrants from French overseas regions and territories located in these regions of the world.
In the Paris Region, 590,504 residents were immigrants from Europe, 627,078 were immigrants from the Maghreb, 435,339 from sub-Saharan Africa and Egypt, 69,338 from Turkey, 322,330 from Asia (outside Turkey), 113,363 from the Americas, and 2,261 from the South Pacific. These last two groups of immigrants are again vastly outnumbered by migrants from French overseas regions and territories located in the Americas and the South Pacific.[clarification needed]
In 2012, there were 8,810 British citizens and 10,019 United States citizens living in the City of Paris (Ville de Paris) and 20,466 British citizens and 16,408 United States citizens living in the entire Paris Region (Île-de-France).
See also: Religious buildings in Paris
Sacré-Cœur in Montmartre
St-Gervais-et-St-Protais in Le Marais
At the beginning of the twentieth century, Paris was the largest Catholic city in the world. French census data does not contain information about religious affiliation. According to a 2011 survey by the Institut français d’opinion publique (IFOP), a French public opinion research organisation, 61 percent of residents of the Paris Region (Île-de-France) identified themselves as Roman Catholic. In the same survey, 7 percent of residents identified themselves as Muslims, 4 percent as Protestants, 2 percent as Jewish and 25 percent as without religion.
According to the INSEE, between 4 and 5 million French residents were born or had at least one parent born in a predominantly Muslim country, particularly Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. An IFOP survey in 2008 reported that, of immigrants from these predominantly Muslim countries, 25 percent went to the mosque regularly; 41 percent practised the religion, and 34 percent were believers but did not practice the religion. In 2012 and 2013, it was estimated that there were almost 500,000 Muslims in the City of Paris, 1.5 million Muslims in the Île-de-France region and 4 to 5 million Muslims in France.
The Jewish population of the Paris Region was estimated in 2014 to be 282,000, the largest concentration of Jews in the world outside of Israel and the United States.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has had its headquarters in Paris since November 1958. Paris is also the home of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Paris hosts the headquarters of the European Space Agency, the International Energy Agency, European Securities and Markets Authority and, as of 2019, the European Banking Authority.
Main article: Economy of Paris
La Défense, the largest dedicated business district in Europe
Companies with world headquarters
in the Paris Region ranked by revenue
Source: Fortune Global 500 (2018)
The Eiffel Tower and the La Défense district
The economy of the City of Paris is based largely on services and commerce; of the 390,480 enterprises in the city, 80.6 percent are engaged in commerce, transportation, and diverse services, 6.5 percent in construction, and just 3.8 percent in industry. The story is similar in the Paris Region (Île-de-France): 76.7 percent of enterprises are engaged in commerce and services, and 3.4 percent in industry.
At the 2012 census, 59.5% of jobs in the Paris Region were in market services (12.0% in wholesale and retail trade, 9.7% in professional, scientific, and technical services, 6.5% in information and communication, 6.5% in transportation and warehousing, 5.9% in finance and insurance, 5.8% in administrative and support services, 4.6% in accommodation and food services, and 8.5% in various other market services), 26.9% in non-market services (10.4% in human health and social work activities, 9.6% in public administration and defence, and 6.9% in education), 8.2% in manufacturing and utilities (6.6% in manufacturing and 1.5% in utilities), 5.2% in construction, and 0.2% in agriculture.
The Paris Region had 5.4 million salaried employees in 2010, of whom 2.2 million were concentrated in 39 pôles d’emplois or business districts. The largest of these, in terms of number of employees, is known in French as the QCA, or quartier central des affaires; it is in the western part of the City of Paris, in the 2nd, 8th, 9th, 16th, and 18th arrondissements. In 2010, it was the workplace of 500,000 salaried employees, about 30 percent of the salaried employees in Paris and 10 percent of those in the Île-de-France. The largest sectors of activity in the central business district were finance and insurance (16 percent of employees in the district) and business services (15 percent). The district also includes a large concentration of department stores, shopping areas, hotels and restaurants, as well a government offices and ministries.
The second-largest business district in terms of employment is La Défense, just west of the city, where many companies installed their offices in the 1990s. In 2010, it was the workplace of 144,600 employees, of whom 38 percent worked in finance and insurance, 16 percent in business support services. Two other important districts, Neuilly-sur-Seine and Levallois-Perret, are extensions of the Paris business district and of La Défense. Another district, including Boulogne-Billancourt, Issy-les-Moulineaux and the southern part of the 15th arrondissement, is a centre of activity for the media and information technology.
The top ten French companies listed in the Fortune Global 500 for 2018 all have their headquarters in the Paris Region; six in the central business district of the City of Paris; and four close to the city in the Hauts-de-Seine Department, three in La Défense and one in Boulogne-Billancourt. Some companies, like Société Générale, have offices in both Paris and La Défense.
The Paris Region is France’s leading region for economic activity, with a GDP of €681 billion (~US$850 billion) and €56,000 (~US$70,000) per capita. In 2011, its GDP ranked second among the regions of Europe and its per-capita GDP was the 4th highest in Europe. While the Paris region’s population accounted for 18.8 percent of metropolitan France in 2011, the Paris region’s GDP accounted for 30 percent of metropolitan France’s GDP.
The Paris Region economy has gradually shifted from industry to high-value-added service industries (finance, IT services) and high-tech manufacturing (electronics, optics, aerospace, etc.). The Paris region’s most intense economic activity through the central Hauts-de-Seine department and suburban La Défense business district places Paris’s economic centre to the west of the city, in a triangle between the Opéra Garnier, La Défense and the Val de Seine. While the Paris economy is dominated by services, and employment in manufacturing sector has declined sharply, the region remains an important manufacturing centre, particularly for aeronautics, automobiles, and "eco" industries.
In the 2017 worldwide cost of living survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit, based on a survey made in September 2016, Paris ranked as the seventh most expensive city in the world, and the second most expensive in Europe, after Zurich.
In 2018, Paris was the most expensive city in the world with Singapore and Hong Kong.
Station F is a business incubator for startups, located in 13th arrondissement of Paris. Noted as the world’s largest startup facility.
Employment by economic sector in the Paris area (petite couronne), with population and unemployment figures (2015)
According to 2015 INSEE figures, 68.3 percent of employees in the City of Paris work in commerce, transportation, and services; 24.5 percent in public administration, health and social services; 4.1 percent in industry, and 0.1 percent in agriculture.
The majority of Paris’s salaried employees fill 370,000 businesses services jobs, concentrated in the north-western 8th, 16th and 17th arrondissements. Paris’s financial service companies are concentrated in the central-western 8th and 9th arrondissement banking and insurance district. Paris’s department store district in the 1st, 6th, 8th and 9th arrondissements employ ten percent of mostly female Paris workers, with 100,000 of these registered in the retail trade. Fourteen percent of Parisians work in hotels and restaurants and other services to individuals. Nineteen percent of Paris employees work for the State in either administration or education. The majority of Paris’s healthcare and social workers work at the hospitals and social housing concentrated in the peripheral 13th, 14th, 18th, 19th and 20th arrondissements. Outside Paris, the western Hauts-de-Seine department La Défense district specialising in finance, insurance and scientific research district, employs 144,600, and the north-eastern Seine-Saint-Denis audiovisual sector has 200 media firms and 10 major film studios.
Paris’s manufacturing is mostly focused in its suburbs, and the city itself has only around 75,000 manufacturing workers, most of which are in the textile, clothing, leather goods, and shoe trades. Paris region manufacturing specialises in transportation, mainly automobiles, aircraft and trains, but this is in a sharp decline: Paris proper manufacturing jobs dropped by 64 percent between 1990 and 2010, and the Paris region lost 48 percent during the same period. Most of this is due to companies relocating outside the Paris region. The Paris region’s 800 aerospace companies employed 100,000. Four hundred automobile industry companies employ another 100,000 workers: many of these are centred in the Yvelines department around the Renault and PSA-Citroën plants (this department alone employs 33,000), but the industry as a whole suffered a major loss with the 2014 closing of a major Aulnay-sous-Bois Citroën assembly plant.
The southern Essonne department specialises in science and technology, and the south-eastern Val-de-Marne, with its wholesale Rungis food market, specialises in food processing and beverages. The Paris region’s manufacturing decline is quickly being replaced by eco-industries: these employ about 100,000 workers. In 2011, while only 56,927 construction workers worked in Paris itself, its metropolitan area employed 246,639, in an activity centred largely on the Seine-Saint-Denis (41,378) and Hauts-de-Seine (37,303) departments and the new business-park centres appearing there.
Paris’s 2015 at-census unemployment rate was 12.2%, and in the first trimester of 2018, its ILO-critera unemployment rate was 7.1 percent. The provisional unemployment rate in the whole Paris Region was higher: 8.0 percent, and considerably higher in some suburbs, notably the Department of Seine-Saint-Denis to the east (11.8 percent) and the Val-d’Oise to the north (8.2 percent).
Median income in Paris and its nearest departments
The average net household income (after social, pension and health insurance contributions) in Paris was €36,085 for 2011. It ranged from €22,095 in the 19th arrondissement to €82,449 in the 7th arrondissement. The median taxable income for 2011 was around €25,000 in Paris and €22,200 for Île-de-France. Generally speaking, incomes are higher in the Western part of the city and in the western suburbs than in the northern and eastern parts of the urban area. Unemployment was estimated at 8.2 percent in the City of Paris and 8.8 percent in the Île-de-France region in the first trimester of 2015. It ranged from 7.6 percent in the wealthy Essonne department to 13.1 percent in the Seine-Saint-Denis department, where many recent immigrants live.
While Paris has some of the richest neighbourhoods in France, it also has some of the poorest, mostly on the eastern side of the city. In 2012, 14 percent of households in the city earned less than €977 per month, the official poverty line. Twenty-five percent of residents in the 19th arrondissement lived below the poverty line; 24 percent in the 18th, 22 percent in the 20th and 18 percent in the 10th. In the city’s wealthiest neighbourhood, the 7th arrondissement, 7 percent lived below the poverty line; 8 percent in the 6th arrondissement; and 9 percent in the 16th arrondissement.
Main article: Tourism in Paris
Tourists from around the world make the Louvre the most-visited art museum in the world.
Paris received 12.6 million visitors in
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