France, Social Portrait2015 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 risk of poverty for workers with low earned income in the European Union countries in 2008 and 2012
In the European Union of 15 countries (EU15) in 2012, 29 million workers (18%) were in an “economically precarious” situation. This means that they were living alone and without resources other than their earned income; they were in a situation of monetary poverty. The phenomenon was most common in the United Kingdom, Germany and Austria. In these countries, it was also slightly increasing compared to 2008, while at EU15 level, the proportion of workers in a precarious economic situation remained stable between 2008 and 2012. In EU15 in 2012, 30% of workers in a precarious economic situation were poor. For the others, the entire income of the household in which they live, combined with social payments, was sufficient for them to be able to escape poverty despite their low earned income. In the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Austria, poverty rates of workers in an economically precarious situation were moderate because these people were often women working part-time and living with a partner whose income enabled the household to escape the risk of poverty. In the Scandinavian countries, poverty among workers in an economically precarious situation was more widespread on average than in the EU15, as these workers were more often young people and isolated individuals. In the southern European countries, the poverty rate among these workers was high as these people were more often than elsewhere people in relationships with unemployed or inactive partners or who were themselves in an economically precarious situation. In France, Ireland and the United Kingdom, social benefits cushioned the effects of unfavourable family arrangements (single parenthood more frequent, partners themselves potentially in an economically precarious situation), thus limiting the poverty rate of workers in a precarious situation to 30% in France and less in the United Kingdom and Ireland.