Positioning on the standards of living scale - Two people out of three are in the intermediate third

Marie Clerc, division Revenus et patrimoine des ménages, Insee

In 2011, part of the population was asked to determine its position on the standards of living scale of all households in France, broken down into three. Two people out of three ranked themselves neither in the bottom, poorest third, nor in the top, richest third, but in the middle third. For 45% of them, there was not, however, any discrepancy between their own perception of their living standards and the statistical measurement. For the others, there was a discrepancy and the explanatory factors differ according to the living standards. For the poorest population, situated in the bottom third of living standards, it is above all the extent of their material difficulties which impinges of their notion of their position. Those subject to the greatest constraints more often than not classify themselves in the third corresponding to their situation, namely the bottom third. For the more affluent, the standard of living as measured, a diploma, age, and the habit of comparing their standard of living to that of other people all impact their perception of their standard of living. Thus, a large majority of people aged 50 and over among the most affluent underestimate their standard of living.

Insee Première
No 1515
Paru le : 25/09/2014