Données sociales : la société française - 2002-2003 ed.
The standard of living of French households from 1970 to 1999
In 20 years, from 1970 to 1990, the average standard of living of French households rose sharply, increasing, in constant euros, from 760 euros per month and per consumption unit (cu) to 1,150 euros an increase of 50%. Between 1990 and 1997, that growth entered a slump and did not resume until the period between 1997 and 1999. Since 1970, retirees have been the principal beneficiaries of growth, in particular those who had very low living standards in the 1970s. Wage earners and unemployed persons also participated in this improvement, above all at the start and end of the period. In 1999, monthly living standards were situated between 610 euros/cu (a level below which 10% of households lived) and 2,030 euros/cu (a level beyond which 10% of households were situated). A standard of living of 610 euros/cu corresponds to a disposable income of 610 euros in the case of a person living alone, and 1,281 euros for a household consisting of two adults and two children. The household's living standard is first of all a function of access to employment and the skill level of the job. A wage equivalent to the Smic (full-time minimum wage) can correspond to several living standards depending on the composition of the family.