Earned income in non-employees: higher on average in France’s northern departments than in the southern

Christophe Bertran, division Salaires et revenus d’activité, Insee

From the self-employed to business owners, liberal professions and other individual entrepreneurs, one out of every ten workers had non-employee status as at end-2014, in France, excluding the agricultural sector. Non-employees earned an average of 2,510 euros monthly from their work in 2014. Their contribution to total employment and their average income varied significantly by geography: in the north of France, they were relatively less numerous and their professional income was on average higher. The opposite was true in the southern departments.

The large percentage of self-employed, whose average earned income is eight times lower than that of traditional self-employed, and the presence of non-employees earning no income, weigh the average down. Excluding zero income and self-employed workers, the national average would be 3,610 euros.

The average income gap between departments depends on the structure by non-employee category and area of activity. For instance, liberal professions in healthcare or services to businesses are more frequent in most high-income departments. Inversely, departments where average income is more moderate are often home to non-employees who do not employ others, or who work in more seasonal activities, such as services to individuals.

The economic environment also plays a part: a living area with high population density, a better standard of living for inhabitants or a low unemployment level, for instance, all go hand in hand with higher income for non-employees.

That being as it may, even cancelling out the influence of all the above factors, average income remains higher in the northern departments of mainland France, where non-employees are relatively lower in number, contrasting with those of the South, where non-employees are higher in number.

Insee Première N° 1672
No 1672
Paru le : 02/11/2017