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Old Posted Aug 11, 2014, 7:27 PM
New Brisavoine New Brisavoine is offline
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
East Germany is as rich as non-Parisian France? Wow.
Well, East Germany is richer than non-Londonian UK, which is even more shocking.

About provincial France, one needs to remember that it is a considerably larger than East Germany, so you have regions of higher and lesser wealth over such a vast territory, whereas East Germany is smaller and its GDP per capita is more homogenous across the land. So the average for provincial France is a bit meaningless. On the one hand you have provincial metropolitan areas with GDP per capita much higher than East Germany's (they are in the list: Lyon with $50,738, Nice-Monaco with $47,763, Toulouse with $46,729, etc.), and on the other hand there are very rural areas with low GDP per capita (these areas are also often inhabited by lots of old people, particularly retired farmers, who live off the land with small pensions, for example in places like Creuse, Cantal, Gers, etc). East Germany is much less rural (its population density is considerably higher than provincial France), and its inhabitants are mostly city dwellers, so it's hard to compare with very rural and aged areas like Creuse or Cantal.

In general, I would say that Germany tends to be a homogenous country (small rural Bavarian or Wurttemburgian districts are as productive and wealthy as big cities), whereas France is more a country of big contrasts, a bit like the US, with very productive and wealthy large cities, and rather unproductive and less well-off rural areas. Of course the big difference with the US is the huge regional equalization in France. Thanks to redistribution by the French state, you don't really notice the sharp differences on the ground, because money from the big cities is pumped to fund the rural areas. It's not like you're going to see potholes on the roads in Creuse or Cantal, even though their headline GDP per capita is as low as the Italian Mezzogiorno. In fact the roads and public equipments would tend to be in better shape in the rural areas with low GDP per capita, because the French state has always had a tendency to favor disproportionately the rural areas, to the detriment of the big cities which sorely need investment (the northern districts of Marseille or the northern banlieues of Paris come to mind).
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