Household debt at the beginning of 2004 - Inequalities according to revenues, above all for housing
Figures for private debt levels show that at the beginning of 2004 nearly 47 % of households had borrowed money. At the beginning of 1992 the figure was 43 %. This difference is partly due to the spread of consumer credit, especially among young generations. The main reason for the debt remains however the purchase of a principal residence: this involves more than 20 % of households and at the beginning of 2004 represents nearly 70 % of household domestic debt. Housing debt goes hand-in-hand with comfortable incomes, often the result of both partners working. Exclusive recourse to consumer credit is slightly more frequent among the middle classes, although it touches all income categories fairly evenly. In all cases, the proportion of revenue that is taken up by repayments declines greatly for the highest income levels.