France, social portrait2014 Edition
France, Social Portrait is for everyone who would like to learn more about French society. This cross-cutting publication in the “Insee Références” collection gives a broad overview of the social situation in France.
The homeless in 2012: a great diversity of situations
In 2012, in agglomerations with at least 20,000 people in metropolitan France, 81,000 adults and 31,000 children were homeless. 45,000 of the adults were born abroad: among them, a third, mostly from countries of Central and Eastern Europe, did not speak French. The homeless had quite different profiles depending on whether they were born in France or not. Women and families in general were more numerous among the homeless born abroad. In addition, they had a strong presence in the Paris area. Provision of accommodation for homeless people depended on their characteristics and personal and family situations. Families were indeed rarely left in the street or sheltered in emergency centres: they were primarily accommodated in housing provided by an association or aid agency. Nevertheless, homeless people born abroad with children benefitted less often from this more stable accommodation solution, especially in large metropolitan areas outside Paris. The homeless, especially those born in France, often carried the burden of a childhood marked by painful family histories. A quarter of them were placed during their childhood in a home or in foster care. Through geographic remoteness or their family experiences, the homeless, whether born abroad or in France, maintained rather strained social ties, especially with their families. 1 in 3 homeless people lived on less than 300 euros per month. Among the homeless born abroad, 45% were in this situation. Working homeless people (one quarter of them) did not fare much better, as the jobs they occupied were very often precarious and low-skilled. Their low level of qualification and difficulties mastering French made their integration into the labour market more difficult.