Économie et Statistique n° 402 - 2007 Polarisation of employment within households (1975-2002) - France in 1,916 living basins - Access times to facilities in the living basins of market towns and small cities - Economic orientation and local employment growth in the living basins
Access times to facilities in the living basins of market towns and small cities
Outside the large urban areas and their peripheries, French people lead their lives in the 1,745 living basins centred around a market town or a small city, where the population, to differing degrees, finds the employment and services necessary for everyday life. Between 1980 and 1998, while public services were maintained throughout the country, and hypermarkets opened in market towns and small cities, the last businesses and services closed in a number of small rural municipalities. However, the population remains in relatively close contact with amenities: the inhabitants of rural living basins are on average fifteen minutes from major business, service and employment facilities. Access times vary according to the facilities examined and according to the location of the living basin. Of the most everyday amenities, inhabitants are closer to healthcare and public services than to businesses and market services. Children in education have longer journey times than the economically active. Access times to facilities are lower when the inhabitants are close to an urban centre, with this centre offering a wider range of services and numerous jobs. The concentration of the population of living basin in the central market town or small city also improves accessibility to businesses, services and healthcare. The geographical location of living basins has an impact on accessibility. Access times are higher in areas with less developed road networks. It is true that there are differences in terms of altitude: this factor increases journey times for school pupils and access times to healthcare, but brings the economically active closer to their work and the population in general closer to public facilities.