France

(Photo by Pixabay from Pexels)

NEW YORK — Is the “American dream” really the “French dream?” Apparently so for millions of Americans. According to a survey, half of Americans dream of living the French lifestyle because of the landmarks, restaurants, and (of course) the pastries!

The recent study of 2,000 adults reveals that 55 percent believe the French way of life seems better than the American, and 50 percent fantasize about living it. Almost a third (31%) would consider moving to the country, with 23 percent saying they have lived in the country in the past.

For those who previously moved to the country – or who would consider doing so – the reasons include the city life (36 %), the food (35 %), and a better lifestyle (35%). Paris is the most popular location to relocate to for 27 percent of respondents, followed by The French Riviera (20%), and Lyon (18%).

Respondents also note the top reasons they want to live in France are to visit the landmarks, dining out, and visiting cafes and coffee shops.

Sacré bleu!

Commissioned by brioche experts St Pierre Bakery and conducted by OnePoll, the study finds other reasons people would like to relocate include the architecture, castles, and shopping, as well as immersing themselves in art galleries, eating brioche, and learning the language.

It also emerged that Americans consider the French lifestyle to be more fashionable (41%), cultured (39%), and relaxed (37%).

Furthermore, 37 percent think France is a “foodie country,” with croissants (24%), champagne (23%), and brioche (16%) among the best items to come out of the country.

“It’s clear that whatever the American perception of the French lifestyle is, we certainly dream of living it,” says Paul Baker, founder of St Pierre Bakery, in a statement. “We automatically think of pastries, coffee, wine and cheese, and that’s just the food and drink. France is also recognized for its art galleries, unique landmarks and mixture of cityscapes and beaches.”

French influence in American culture

Nearly six in 10 adults (56%) have taken inspiration from the French lifestyle when it comes to their sense of fashion (43%), interest in artwork (43%), and cooking skills (42%).

More than half the poll (59%) believe pop culture, including shows like “Emily in Paris” has given them an idea of what living in France would be like. When it comes to the language, 17 percent already speak it, and another 28 percent are currently learning.

Many are already enjoying the foods that originated across the channel, with croissants (30%), Dijon mustard (25%), and brioche (24%) being the most popular staples. Steak frites (22%) and soufflé (19%) are also top choices.

It’s not just food people have taken inspiration from: U.S. respondents believe 30 percent of our daily vocabulary originates from France. Among the words and phrases the nation believes come from the French are “déjà vu” (25%), “fiancé” (23%), and “rendezvous” (32%).

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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88 Comments

  1. frank b says:

    I enjoyed reading the comments in this article. I myself am a 70 yr old who would love to live in a country with universal healthcare. I feel funny living in the only modern industrialized country that does not have it. I do not qualify with the income requirements to live in the European countries. I could have done better but hindsight is 20/20. In my observance A mericans will continue to fall behind the rest of the world if they continue to be rampant consumers. We will never have a true voice unr the major corporations start to feel the pinch.

  2. Beverly C says:

    I am an American who decamped for France in 2017 — remember that year, the one when we elected a game show host to run the country into the ground so he could sell it cheap to the Russians? Anyhow, I’ve never been happier than I have been living in a culture where oligarchs don’t work ordinary people to death, everyone has access to the same high level of health care and education is nearly free all the way through grad school (if you’re smart enough to get in). The playing fields has been nearly leveled and I don’t have to worry that the yahoo in the pick up truck is going to pull out an automatic weapon and use it on me because I forgot to put on my turn signal. If France paradise? Hardly, but it a damn site safe, cleaner, friendlier, more modern and more civilized that America. When I came to the US a week ago for a visit with family and friends the thing that shocked both me and my husband was how fat Americans are and how they never walk anywhere. They look unhealthy, unkempt and sad. I would be too if I lived here. I’ve lived in both countries and I can tell you without a doubt, France is a better bet — and not just for pastries. Money isn’t the most important thing there, working yourself to death isn’t a badge of honor and having to live among people who go to the doctor when they get sick can’t be underestimated. America got ruined by greed, ego, pride and vice. Americans got a criminal for president because that’s what they deserved. Now they have an honest decent guy who has to try ad clean up the mess. Very sad….

  3. Fred Bohm says:

    Nine million Americans live overseas. The USA is an overpriced third-world country filled with ignorant and uneducated theocrats. The best thing my wife and I ever did was leave. Good riddance.

  4. cash says:

    the thing i like best living in France are the french! Not saying they are better or worse than anywhere else… i just like the people… vive la différence

  5. Errk says:

    I wonder if they know France is a second world country? Life is simpler there and the government is much better at its job than the US government ever could do. But the tradeoffs are steep.

  6. Nick Peacock says:

    I have lived a1.5 years in Paris and it is very nice, specially the museums. But the same time, life is very expensive here for the most part. Medical care is surprisingly very affordable but sometimes an English speaking doctor can be difficult to find and in some cases charge a lot more like in the American Hospital here. About 33% of the population can speak some English here but you have to ask politely for the most part.

  7. JR Wirth says:

    What is this really about? Socialized medicine and reasonable hours of work. I don’t blame anyone who wants that. Especially if you work in hell like an Amazon Warehouse and get zero healthcare for your health insurance. The U.S. economy is a battery that consumes people. It’s not for living.

  8. Steve says:

    I have a house in France. Great place visit and enjoy all things French. Then, I want to go home after a couple months and not take up full-time residence.

  9. Chris says:

    “Accross the channel”? Sorry it doesn’t make sense. Unless you are a UK based writer. Think about it.

  10. Critical Mass says:

    Go, and never darken our door again.

    1. Gaius Gracchus says:

      Oh, a bit hostile, eh?

  11. Jim Graves says:

    I’m American. I’ve been to France several times. Here is my two cents as far as moving to France is concerned.
    You should be able to speak French. You may not be bothered too much by the language barrier during a one week trip. It will drive you mad after a few months.
    Do not expect American speed and efficiency. In this country we are very used to 24 hour and next day service. Europe is not this way. You may have to wait a month or more to get your internet installed. You may find nothing open after 7PM or on Sunday. That kind of thing is typical over there.
    It is a very different culture with different values. The French may not seem that different at first but over time you will realize how not American they are. And not always in a pleasant way.
    On the plus side the French have amazing food. They really do. This is, to me, the best part of France.
    France is a beautiful country. I mean, spectacular. They have some of the most gorgeous countryside I have ever seen as well as mountains, beaches, forests, lakes, rivers. If you love nature then you will adore France.
    While I find a lot of Paris to be ugly as hell, many of the other cities and small towns are very charming. They’re usually very walkable with plenty of cafes and restaurants. I do not care for the sterile, lifeless suburbs of America but we have to have them to get away from the over the top violence and crime of the inner city.
    France is not as violent as the US but it can be dangerous. Especially in Paris and Marseille. But if you use common sense you will be fine. Still safer than Chicago or Los Angeles.
    Even if you speak French you will never be French. Unless you live there for decades you will always be an outsider.
    If you’re American and move to France you will probably end up befriending and socializing with other expats. In particular other Americans and the Brits.
    If you are seriously considering a move to France you should do it when you are young when you will have a long time to acclimate and adapt.
    If you are thinking of retirement then you should take a long trip to France first. You should stay for at least three months to really get a feel for the place.
    I grew up overseas. I speak fluent French. I could live in France if I had to but I prefer the United States. There are some things about Europe I really miss but you can’t have it all.
    There is an amazing amount of freedom and opportunity in the US.
    But if you are the type that thinks capitalism is horrible, society stinks and the world is just an awful place in general you will find plenty of French people who think the same and will enjoy complaining with you all day long at a cafe.

  12. Juan F says:

    Been living in France for three-plus years. Yep. It’s everything it’s cracked up to be. I’m happy here every day. Embarrassingly, though, my French still sux. Getting fluent is my summer project.

  13. Kay says:

    That’s the dumb half. Please take them! Now!

  14. Amy says:

    France is America’s oldest ally! Where is the hate for France coming from? Esp. considering the article itself did not tackle anything remotely controversial. (No mention of political, tax, or religious differences, etc.) Can’t we appreciate the pros of France while still loving America?

  15. Sage says:

    Good luck with that! France is a hell hole. We live in Switzerland…now THAT’S living!!!

  16. Bill says:

    Nowhere near half of Americans have ever been to France, or could even find it on a map. This survey means nothing.

    1. Fred Bohm says:

      Half of Americans can not even find the USA on a map.

  17. Los Angeles Expat says:

    My wife and 3 of our 4 children (our oldest just graduated college in the United States) moved to Paris after the hatred and bias that was spewed by the American Media and intelligentsia accusing conservative Americans of being terrorists after 1/6 and the day of the digital long knives when everyone with a slightly controversial thought was banned from Twitter. We gave up on America after the debacle that was Covid-19 planned society implosion. While France is in the European Union it’s far more conservative than an American blue city and with Los Angeles and New York already destroyed by the globalists we were ready for a new adventure. French society is much more conservative than an American blue city, people are very focused on Men being men and women being women, and even globalists like Macron are against Me too and Woke American culture. We’ve never been happier.

    1. Amy says:

      Interesting! Especially considering you come from Los Angeles, a true beacon of “wokeism.”

      I’m from Minnesota (a blue state) and lived in the Twin Cities for about seven years. I also had a taste of living in France while studying abroad for one semester. What you say also confirmed my experience – women dressed like women, men dressed like men, people were a lot more reserved and less self-seeking, less materialistic and less focused on marketing/selling, more living in the moment, etc.

      France is certainly not perfect, but it still entices me and I hope to live there someday. Even though my love for America – the true, constitutional America that is under God – has not died.

  18. Mark says:

    France is a great country and I’ve traveled there many times for work and vacation. That being said, there is zero chance that this is a representative poll. Of the 2000 respondents, 23% lived in France in the past? I assure you that nowhere near 23% of Americans (which would be ~75 million Americans) have previously lived in France. So, the conclusion that “55 percent believe the French way of life seems better than the American” is highly skewed.

    1. Amy says:

      Agreed, seems like the pollsters found 2,000 folks who already loved France. It’s just a feel-good poll so I don’t mind….it’s nice to see there are other France-loving folks out there in the US. 🙂