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Crédit: © Victoria Chudinova –
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Appeal and attractiveness: the new look of the Americans on France

21 July 2023 Culture
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The IFOP, a polling and marketing institute, has recently published a study on the image of the French and France in the United States, an image which has improved considerably over 15 years: the popularity rating of the French is almost twice as high this year (73%) than in 2007 (39%).

Thanks, among others, to the “Emily in Paris” effect, this pickup of French love can be seen in the record number of Americans who now declare wanting to live in France: more than one out of three (36%) express their desire, compared to just one out of five (20%) in 2005.


An undeniable “Emily in Paris” effect

Indeed, to better understand how France and the French are seen in the United States, the tourist information website Bonjour New York ordered an IFOP poll to assess the image of France when the series “Emily in Paris” seems like an undeniablepop culture trend” (according to the New York Times). So, the IFOP wondered whether “this comedy, which is one of the most popular on Netflix, has shaken the opinion the Americans have of the French and their capital city?”.

It seems to be the case, given the audience and its content, if we take a closer look at the opinion poll. Carried out among a nationally representative sample of over 1,000 Americans, the study shows that, overall, “France’s image and appeal have improved considerably in recent years, and the clichés associated with the French and their capital are (for the most part) far from negative, especially among Emily in Paris fans”.



Living in France and Paris!

Key figures of the study include four conclusions:

  • The image of the French improves in the US, and it’s a “spectacular” spike, says IFOP: the popularity rating of the French is almost twice as high this year than in 2007, and the rating is even higher if you have watched the series (47% compared 17%). This pickup is stronger for respondents who visited France over the last ten years (95%), those with higher revenues (80%) and the highly educated (86%);
  • A record number of Americans are currently expressing a desire to “live in France”: more than one in three today, compared to just over one in five in 2005. This prospect of expatriation appeals primarily to democrat voters (48% compared to 28% of republicans), the most highly educated (46%) and people who describe themselves as very progressive (55%);
  • Paris is the most attractive city, in fact just as attractive as New York, and even more so for long stays. As the IFOP notes, “this appeal is not just about tourism”. While three quarters of Americans would like to spend a short stay in Paris (75%), the possibility of spending a whole year there also appeals to almost half of respondents (44%), particularly among the youngest (60% of 18–24-year-olds would like to spend a year in Paris), but also among the most urban and progressive;
  • Overall, the image of the French themselves is positive: many Americans see them as “refined, cultured and good-natured”. The IFOP concludes that this “attractiveness of the French and their capital is based on a generally positive view of French society and its customs”.


To know more:

- The IFOP poll

The article on Bonjour New York


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