Housing and Household Size in Local Population Dynamics
The example of Paris
Hence, the depopulation of Paris “intra muros » since the Second World War can be explained by a decline in the number of primary residences—despite an increase in the number of dwellings—and, above all, a decrease in household size which, like elsewhere in France and the Western world, reflects the “couple crisis » and demographic ageing, but equally the appeal of Paris for singles and small households and the “banishment » of families to the suburbs.
This pattern of urban residence can be explained by several factors, above all by the size of dwellings – small in Paris and larger in the suburbs – and their higher cost inside Paris than beyond the city limits. These factors are raising the proportion of young adults and of professionals and higher-level occupations in the Parisian population. This trend is especially pronounced in the central districts, where the small dwellings and animated social life are particularly attractive to the singles population.