Broke Young People Will Always Have Paris

Ah, Paris, city of lights! City of love and romance, of coffee and cigarettes, of cathedrals and barricades, of auteurs and philosophers, of snobbery and sentimentality and chocolate croissants. Paris is … the most affordable city in the world for young people to live? Paris, which peaked in the 20s, if not half a century earlier, and which most millennials would probably pass over these days in favor of Portland? It seems either false or exaggerated, but let’s consider the evidence:

1) It has the highest minimum wage of any metropolis considered, the equivalent of $12.84 an hour. Berlin is in 2nd place with a minimum wage of $11.86 and Rome is third.

2) A ticket to the movies = 1 hour of work at minimum wage.

3) It’s in the top ten for other important considerations including the cost of rent, an egg, transit, fast food, live music, and travel out of the city. Not taxes, though.

It’s a close call, because hipstamatic Berlin, with its government-regulated rental market and irony-comes-standard cool factor, either surpasses or is close on the heels of Paris in all of the areas where Paris ranks high, and life in la dolce vita of Rome is surprisingly doable as well. But the Youthful Cities index laid the Most Affordable City laurel on the ground before la tour Eiffel this year. A pale and bleary-eyed Ewan McGregor emerged from a garret near the Moulin Rouge to say thank you, and also, do you know where the nearest laundromat is? He’s beginning to feel the tiniest bit rumpled.

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