<!–^~^27|left|Paris’s Champs ElysÃˆes^~^–>Since the 1950’s, French people have enjoyed the benefits of mass culture and consumerism. As the fourth economic power, France’s standard of living and level of comsumption are very similar to those in the USA.
Urban life in a city such as Paris has become almost the same as in any other megapolis in the world.
Regional and rural life, on the other hand, has remained very unique and varies tremendously from one region to another. The refreshing change, together with 5 weeks of annual paid vacations, has led many citadins to maintain a place in the country, preferably close to their family roots, to go on vacation or to retire.
France is the country in the world where there are the most second homes.
Thanks to government sponsored programs, France has managed to remain one of the most high-tech countries in the world. Technological breakthroughs such as the Concorde, the TGV, the Minitel or the Chunnel, have linked the country between regions and with its neighbors.
Culture and the arts are very important in everyday life in France. The worldwide appeal of the US model and the related Americanization is well present in France. However, in order to protect France’s cultural identity, the government recently stepped in and enacted some laws aiming at restricting the broadcast of english speaking movies or songs and the use of English vocabulary in general.