France in the European Union2014 Edition
The result of a collaboration between public statistical institutions, this issue of the Insee References collection gathers a body of economic and social data allowing a comparison between France and its European partners.
Inequality, poverty and social protection in Europe: current state of affairs and impact of the crisis
In 2011, the median equivalised income in France was among the highest in Europe. In terms of inequality in equivalised incomes, France is in keeping with the average for the 28-member European Union (EU of 28). However, the indicators used to measure poverty and social exclusion at European level - income poverty, severe material deprivation and exclusion from the labour market - reveal France to be reasonably well-positioned with regard to its European neighbours. This strong position can be attributed to the high level of economic development in France; it is also a result of the country's relatively high level of social transfers. Nonetheless, social inequalities in France have seen a slight increase since the onset of the crisis, while they have remained relatively stable across Europe as a whole. Similarly, while income poverty in France remains below the European average it has increased to a certain extent since 2007. Social transfers certainly helped to cushion the impact of the crisis in 2008 and 2009, but this beneficial effect has since subsided somewhat. The increase in the overall risk of poverty and social exclusion has been smaller in France than the European average. A number of European countries have been hit much more severely by the crisis (southern Europe, Ireland, the Baltic nations).