Économie et Statistique n° 488-489 - 2016The homeless - The gender pay gap in the public sector
Disorder in the categorisation: the atypical downward social mobility of homeless graduates
According to the Homeless survey conducted by INSEE and the INED in 2012 among French-speaking homeless adults, 14% of them have been in higher education and 10% have graduated. Homeless people who are graduates are in the intermediate age bracket (30-49 years), from more affluent backgrounds (39% compared to 17%) and more likely to live in the Paris region than those who are not; they were also born abroad more often (66% compared to 43%), particularly in Africa. On closer analysis, two profiles emerge, produced by two different processes of exclusion: on the one hand, French graduates, more often male, older, slightly more likely to be from a disadvantaged background, a little less likely to be Parisian; and foreign graduates, more often female, aged between 30 and 49, and even under 30, with one or more children (usually in a relationship, but sometimes alone), slightly more often from a middle class background. In addition, according to our calculations, almost 15% of homeless people who have been in higher education first became homeless whilst they were students, most often at a French higher education institution. This varies from 6% for graduates to 31% for those who did not complete their higher education, the latter being mainly from disadvantaged backgrounds. It is a sign of the extension of the phenomenon of downward social mobility that being a graduate no longer systematically guarantees security. Homeless graduates are often in similar situations to unqualified homeless people. However, according to our findings, they do differ in that their relationship with employment is a little more dynamic, that their state of health is judged (by them) more often as "very good", that they tend to become homeless, and in particular to find themselves "on the streets" later, and that they benefit from greater support from their social network (friends, neighbours, family).