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French have more dogs, live longer than Germans
Photo: DPA

French have more dogs, live longer than Germans

Published: 22 Jan 2013 15:29 GMT+01:00
Updated: 22 Jan 2013 15:29 GMT+01:00

As France and Germany celebrate 50 years since they signed the Èlysée friendship treaty, one newspaper gathered statistics to show how the neighbours differ.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung suggested that Germans were more likely to be overweight, with 16 percent of adults having eaten too much compared with 11 percent of their French cousins.

This may be because French people are all out walking their dogs twice a day, as there are many more canines – over eight million - there than in Germany, where there are around five million.

French trimness could also be linked to pounding the picket lines - they are much more likely to go on strike than the Germans, with an average of 102 days per 1,000 workers per year, lost to industrial action. The equivalent German figure was just five.

Of those German women who work, 45 percent are part-timers while just 30 percent of working French women are part-time.

Yet the French are obviously doing something right, with their average overall life expectancy of 82 years a chunk longer than the German average of 80.5 years.

The bon vivant French style extends to eating out of course, with French people spending an average of €2,100 a year in cafés and restaurants, compared to an average spend of just €1,700 for Germans.

Germans in comparison spend much more on financial matters, with an average spend of €600 a year on things such as bank fees and tax advisors, way above the French average of €200.

French women also have more babies than Germans, with 2.03 on average compared with 1.39 for Germans.

French people are also more likely to own their own homes, with 63.1 percent locking their own doors at night, compared with 53.4 percent of Germans.

Yet French people are more likely to be unemployed, with 10.5 percent out of work, compared with 5.4 percent of Germans.

The figures may justify some of the stereotypes people on either side of the border still believe about each other. The German Embassy in Paris commissioned a survey this month that showed clichés were still alive and kicking.

When asked for the first thing they thought of when considering Germany, 29 percent of the French people quizzed said Chancellor Angela "Merkel", followed by 23 percent who said "Beer". Following them were "Car" and "Strict" with 18 percent each. Then came the classics "Sausage" and "Sauerkraut" which each attracted 12 percent of first associations.

The Germans had a far more romantic image of France, with 56 percent associating it primarily with the word "Paris", 37 percent coming up with "Eiffel Tower", 32 percent going for "Wine" and a further 27 percent plumping for "Baguette".

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Your comments about this article

16:25 January 22, 2013 by DavyCrockett
The French don't have dogs, they have barking rats which they put in little baskets and take into restaurants. At least German dogs resemble animals, not rodents.
17:14 January 22, 2013 by Englishted
Don't know about France but in the U.K. there is free banking on a current account (maybe if you stay in credit) but in Germany I pay a fee of €6,40 a month just to have a account that you must have to be paid ,a complete rip off and the charges to have (not use just have ) a credit card are amazing .

This maybe why there is a difference and with the money they save they go out for a meal sound o.k. to me.
17:44 January 22, 2013 by whiteriver
I've lived in France and now I live in Germany. I wouldn't move back to France as I found life quality much better on this side. France is a crowded place, people walk more because they have no other option, a garage is an expensive luxury item in Paris for example. Dirty trains, litter on the streets and little personal space are the things I relate to France.
20:49 January 22, 2013 by LandSwitcher
I suggest that French people tend to take things easy and are not very accurate while German people keep worrying about things that may come and make their life uncomfortable. At the end, the optimism is the biggest healing force.
21:56 January 22, 2013 by www.emungus.net
The imperfect knowledge of these two countries gives no opportunity to make an appropriate difference between these two neighbors. But judging by the pic on the article it seems like the difference between Germans and French can be measured by the social aspect: apparently the French enjoy laughing, that is to say perhaps more relaxed than the Germans. In fact this is not a certainty. Besides, it is often said that the Germans may be finical and sometimes hot-tempered, the French enthusiatic and sometimes long-winded, is this true?
15:09 January 23, 2013 by LecteurX
@whiteriver - interesting insight but... where in "France" have you been living and where in "Germany" do you live now? Your description of "France" screams "Paris" all along, and well a quite peculiar view of it btw. Yes, Paris is a very crowded and expensive place, where teachers or nurses barely can afford to live. But saying "France" is crowded as opposed to Germany is silly and uninformed. Germany has 15 million inhabitants more than France, but France is much larger than Germany. Many parts of France are indeed not crowded at all, very inexpensive, and offer great quality of life... to anyone who can work there.

The article doesn't say that people walk more in France, it just says that people are likely to walk more because they own significantly more dogs (and this with a much smaller population). Who needs a car in Paris anyway? Same question for Berlin really.

Obviously, you don't live in Berlin, as littered streets and dirty trains are the norm...
15:49 January 23, 2013 by catjones
For some reason cities are not called 'The Berlin of....', but instead 'The Paris of....'.

Personally, I've spent a lot of time in France and germany and find the French to be friendly and curious......
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