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.
Median households are more often owners of their main place of residence than twenty years ago
In 2013, among median households, a little over six in ten are owners of their main place of residence, that being an intermediary position between modest households and fairly well-off households. In contrast with modest and poor households, they are more often home owners than twenty years ago. However, to cope with the rise in property prices during the 2000s, median households that are new home owners are getting into more debt.
Like most other households, with the exception of the poorest, median households live in more comfortable housing than before. In particular, housing space per person increased by 5m2 between 1996 and 2013. They mostly live in individual housing, like fairly well-off and well-off households. Less present in large urban areas than poor and well-off households, they live more often than before in suburban areas, just like fairly well-off households.
Finally, they spend a growing proportion of their income on housing, but less so than modest households. In 2013, their housing expenditure made up on average a fifth of their income, falling between that of modest and fairly well-off households. For median households, this proportion is higher for renters on the open market and first-time buyers.