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French have more dogs, live longer than Germans

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Photo: DPA
15:29 CET+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.

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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".

The Local/hc

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