France, social portraitEdition 2017
France, Social Portrait is for everyone who would like to learn more about French society. This cross-cutting publication in the “Insee Références” collection throws the spotlight on people, neither rich nor poor, but located in the middle of the scale of standards of living in France, and often little studied. Around forty themed information sheets summarise the main data and provide European comparisons, to complete this social panorama.
The situation on the labour market for people belonging to a median household: holding a position on the labour market similar to the most well-off but with professions close to the most modest households
Nearly one household in five has a standard of living between 90% and 110% of the median standard of living. These households, called “median households”, generally have at least one person in work (61% of them), which is nearly as much as the more well-off households (66%, compared to 39% of poor households). However, for median households, it is less often the case that both partners of a couple work. A third of median households are made-up of retirees, living as a couple or not, which is a proportion that is close to that of households that are better off. Unemployed persons and those not in active work but who have not retired are less numerous in median households and much more numerous in poor and modest households.
The position on the labour market for people living in a median household is close to that of the most well-off: 54% of them have a job, a barely smaller percentage than people in well-off or fairly well-off households, but higher than for those in modest households. Most of them are on a permanent contract (81% of those in active work in median households), with those not in paid work being more widespread in poor and well-off households.
However, people belonging to median households are distinguishable from better-off households by their socioprofessional group. More than half of those in work are labourers (27%) or office workers (35%), a proportion that is comparable to that observed for poor and modest households. Middle managers make up only 7% of those in active work in median households, while they make up more than half of those in well-off households.
Relative to 2005, among people in employment, the standard of living for certain professions has risen less than for others. So, in 2014, people filling intermediary roles in public service (primary school teachers, administrative staff, health carers, social workers) and in IT, the arts and entertainment belong to a median household more often than in 2005, and to a well-off household less often.