Household income and wealth2018 edition
With Household income and wealth INSEE presents the main indicators and analyses on monetary inequalities, poverty and household wealth.
Inequalities in standard of living and poverty in 2015 and over the longer-term
In 2015, in mainland France, the average standard of living across the population amounted to €20,300 per year, slightly higher than in 2014 in constant euros, but still below pre-crisis levels.
In 2015 as in 2014, inequalities remain stable, at levels close to those of 2008. The trend over this period was more favourable in France than in the majority of other European Union (EU) countries, where inequalities grew between 2008 and 2015.
The income poverty line, which is defined as 60% of the population’s median income, amounted to €1,015 per month. 14.2% of the population lived below the poverty line, one of the lowest levels in the EU. The unemployed showed the highest poverty rate (37.3%).
From 1970 to 1990, the poverty rate decreased sharply (–4.1 percentage points) due to such factors as the improvement in the relative situation of pensioners, whose poverty rate fell by more than half thanks to the improvement in their pensions and the minimum old age subsidy. At the same time, poverty among working people (excluding self-employed workers) increased by one-third, partly due to rising unemployment. The poverty rate thereafter remained stable, between 1990 and 1996.
Since 1996, the changes in poverty rate have remained on a smaller scale. It fell by 1.9 percentage point between 1996 and 2004, then rose between 2004 and 2011 (+1.8 percentage point), in particular due to the crisis, and since then, has seen little change. The intensity of poverty increased between 2008 and 2012 and decreased since then.
The most striking fact of the last twenty years has been the spread of poverty among single-parent families, almost one-third of which live below the poverty line. The differences between socio-professional categories have remained steady, though the situation of farmers, those most affected by poverty, has improved and that of craftsmen, merchants and entrepreneurs has deteriorated.