What is the median standard of living of the French?

The results of the latest INSEE survey entitled “Household income and wealth” revealed a certain stagnation in the median standard of living in France. The overall poverty rate has also fallen, although the trends are different for the poorest and wealthiest households. An update on the figures

For a few years now, it’s been stagnating!

According to a 2013 INSEE study, the median standard of living of the French population was 1,667 euros per month, or about 20,000 euros per year. These figures are practically the same as in 2012, with a difference of almost – 0.1%. For the time being, we can say that the median standard of living in France is stagnating. In fact, it was the economic crisis of 2008 that led to a certain decline, in the order of 1.1%, between 2009 and 2013. Over the previous 4 years, between 2004 and 2008, the standard of living of the French had nevertheless increased by an average of 1.8% per year.

But what exactly is the standard of living?

According to INSEE, it should be pointed out that the standard of living corresponds to the disposable income in a household, net of all taxes and divided by the number of consumption units. Income includes income from activities, popular savings books, life insurance, unemployment benefits, pensions, social benefits and PEAs. Consumption units depend on the age of each person concerned. 0.3 for children under 14 years of age, 0.5 for those 14 and over, and 1 for the first adult in the household.

standard of living in france

A decrease for the “well-off” population

Thus, on the basis of this calculation, the figures collected show that “well-off” households are more likely to experience a decline in living standards than more modest households. Although the top 10% of households have 3.5 times more income than the bottom 10%, amounting to at least €37,200 per year, they are more affected by the tax increase. According to INSEE, the 2008 crisis particularly accentuated inequalities in terms of living standards, but the trend seems to be narrowing in 2013. In 2008, the ratio between the mass of living standards of the richest 20% and the poorest 20% was 4.3, compared to 4.6 in 2011. A ratio that will be practically reversed between 2011 and 2013.

According to INSEE, this is mainly due to the fact that between 2012 and 2013, property income, including rents received and financial income, among others, fell from 11.9% to 10.9%. It should be noted, however, that nearly 94% of French households have private assets, including 62.6% real estate and 15% of professional assets. Figures that also fell in 2008. The crisis having especially led the French to “predict” bad days and thus to subscribe to retirement savings and life insurance. In 2015, 44.2% of households held this type of investment.

The overall poverty rate is falling

However, according to INSEE, the poverty rate fell slightly in 2013. As the poverty line is set at €1,000 per month, 14% of the French population is affected. This rate rose from 10.9% to 10.5% for the working population, from 9.3% to 7.9% for retirees, compared to 37.3% for the unemployed.