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Paris Officials Blame Airbnb for Shrinking City

Paris's most tourist-friendly neighborhoods are getting less dense: falling fertility rates, rising costs, and home sharing are all suspected as possible culprits.
January 18, 2017, 6am PST | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Richard A. McGuirk

Paris's most central areas are losing population, "Between 2009 and 2014, the number of people living in Paris’s 1st arrondissement, a small, touristy district that’s home to the Louvre, fell by 5%," Alison Griswold reports in Quartz. The statistics come from Insee, France's National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies, which credits "Paris’s population drop to several causes: lower birthrates and second homes, to be sure, but also an increase in deaths, and higher living costs that are leading young people to settle down outside the city," Griswold writes.

Some of Paris's elected officials see a simpler explanation, "…1st arrondissement mayor, Jean-François Legaret, told Le Parisien that Airbnb '…has been a catastrophe for central Paris,' Griswold writes. There can be no doubting that Airbnb has a big footprint in the city. According to Griswold, "The French capital is Airbnb’s second-biggest market—behind only the New York City metro area in terms of total listing." It's hard to know how much of the loss of density in these neighborhoods is the result of these listings, but it's clear that Paris's regulators are running out of patience with the company.

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Published on Thursday, January 5, 2017 in Quartz
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