Données sociales : La société française - 2006 ed.
Social welfare: from economic fluctuations to structural trends
Spending on social welfare represented 29.1% of gross domestic product in 2004. It has increased significantly since the beginning of the 1990s, by around 3.4% of GDP between 1990 and 2003. This progression has been irregular: social spending increases rapidly during years of weak economic growth, and more gradually when growth is stronger. Structural factors, however, explain the growth of social spending in the medium term. Firstly, spending on pensions remains guided by demographic changes. In addition, regulatory policies try to rein in the pace of spending on health at a level equivalent to that of the nation's wealth. Finally, spending on maternity and the family is increasing in line with the GDP, despite a drop in the number of people under 20 in France.