Insee Analyses ·
April 2023 · n° 82Limited mobility along the income ladder between 2003 and 2019
Comparing individuals’ income path from 2003 to 2019 based on tax files revealed that
the individual rank in the 2019 income distribution hardly departs from the one observed
in 2003: the correlation between these two position is 71%. Inertia is particularly
strong at both ends of the distribution: among the wealthiest 20% and the poorest
two-thirds of individuals remained in the same income group. Compared with the U.S., inertia seems to be higher in France.
Mobility along the income ladder is higher among the self-employed, young people and people living in the Parisian region. In contrast, salaried individuals and people living overseas are less mobile. Geographical mobility and mobility along the income ladder tend to go hand in hand.
Taking this quite small income mobility over the life cycle into account does not dramatically alter the measurement of income inequality. A Gini index based on the average individual income over the period leads to a value that is only 7% lower than the average Gini index based on annual income.