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.
City policy in metropolitan France: a new geography refocused on 1,300 “priority” districts
The reform of geographical prioritising in city policy, established by the 21 February 2014 law, was based on the identification of "priority" areas, urban areas with a large proportion of low-income populations. This single criterion changes the mapping of urban poverty concentrations. In metropolitan areas with more than 10,000 inhabitants, there were more than 2,300 districts under city policy, compared to 1,300 today. The balances of the major regions are maintained but emerge with a hallmark of new trends: while the Paris region, northern France and the southeast continue to have concentrations of the most vulnerable urban areas, other regions such as the Centre, Languedoc-Roussillon and Picardy have more problematic districts and their weight in the city policy increases sharply. In the Paris metropolitan area, the population of the new geographical “priority” areas are usually in the suburbs rather than in the city centre; thus the weight of Paris in the priority geography of the agglomeration is lower. An unpublished analysis, based on early indicators available before the local authority consultation phase which precisely determines the borders of priority districts, shows that the population living there is generally younger and facing more challenging economic and social situations, reflected by higher proportions of single-parent or large families and greater numbers of unemployment benefit recipients than elsewhere. Social housing remains largely dominant in these districts. Beyond this overall picture, certain area profiles stand out: the priority districts of the Paris region and the East have more low-cost social housing for large families. On the west coast and in the northern half of France, there are more districts located in the city centre with more single-parent families.