To establish a first barometer of the popularity of different territories, Ipsos conducted an investigation from 23 to 30 October, a few days before November 17, beginning of the movement of yellow vests. It is to say if by ordering this study, Villes de France, association which federates the communities of average size, had the hollow nose. The questions posed to the respondents echo what was heard then for weeks on the roundabouts.

Ipsos divided its panel of 1,600 people into four equal groups of rural inhabitants, medium-sized cities (population between 10,000 and 100,000), metropolises (up to 500,000) and Paris and its first crown. From this probe, it emerges the idea that the average city is an ideal but is fragile. The feeling that the public authorities favor the metropolises to the detriment of the rest of the country is pregnant.

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Thus, 43% of the respondents say that if they had to choose, they would live in an average city while 35% would prefer the countryside and 22% only the big city. In the general population, the most important criteria for making this choice of residence are tranquility and calm (43%) and the feeling of security (31%). Transport supply ranks fourth at 22%, behind the proximity of nature (26%). As seen from the roundabouts, this hierarchy is not surprising: yellow vests require a lower price of gasoline than the creation of bus lines.

The satisfaction rates on these criteria are in agreement. 85% of the inhabitants of the average cities find their city calm and quiet and 79% feel safe there. Most surprisingly, 84% of those living in a metropolis have the same feeling that they are calm and calm. And, even more surprising, 70% of Parisians and suburbanites.

Even if the inhabitants of the medium-sized cities have a good image of their place of life, this does not prevent them from raising concerns: 40% of them believe that the health and public services as well as job availability (38%) or commercial vitality (39%). The share of those who see neither degradation nor improvement in all these areas is similar. But the pollsters had to scratch to find, among these citizens of medium-sized cities, the 17% of respondents who find that the supply of health has progressed and the 15% who discern an improvement in public services.

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When we live in one of these medium-sized communities, we are happy but concerned. Their inhabitants think – 86% of them – that the centers of these communes are dying. The same is true for rural people who, as occasional users of the services of the nearest middle city, know what they are talking about. But 76% of Parisians and 74% of metropolitan residents, less affected in their daily lives by what happens in the heart of prefectures, also share this certainty. "Like the rural communities, the medium-sized cities concentrate the doubts in terms of employment, territorial imbalances, decline in trade and public services", concludes Ipsos.

Sibylle Vincendon

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