Household income and wealth2016 Edition
With “Household income and wealth” INSEE presents the main indicators and analyses on household monetary inequalities, poverty and wealth.
Assets held at the beginning of 2015
In 2015, almost 94% of households held some private assets and more than 60% of households owned real estate. In recent years, ownership of securities has fallen sharply, from 24.2% in 2004 to 16.5% in 2015; at the same time, the numbers holding retirement savings plans (including life insurance) moved in the opposite direction, with the proportion of households holding them increasing from 36.9% in 2004 to 44.2% in 2015. Contrary to what economic theory suggests, it would appear that households make a choice as to what assets to hold on an asset by asset basis rather than making an overall decision regarding their portfolio. For each type of asset, unless other factors intervene, such as age or the fact of having received an inheritance or a bequest, income remains the main determining factor as to whether or not to hold assets. The need to cope with an unforeseen event, to prepare for old age, and finally to buy one's own home, are, in that order, the main reasons that households give for their desire to save.