Drawing on the latest figures available, France's national number crunchers have shown in their respected annual report that the country's rich are getting richer and the poor are growing poorer.
The data from 2011, the most recent available, isn't very rosy, but the current situation in 2014 could actually be even worse than the figures show as France battles a stagnant economy and an unemployment rate that is above 10 percent and rising.
And the reason for that is France's GDP saw a bit of a rally in 2011 when it notched an increase of 2.1 percent.
While that's nothing to really shout about, it's better than the 0.3 percent in both 2012 and 2013. It's also important to keep in mind that even with the relatively higher growth in 2011, the number of French people living in poverty still went up 0.3 percent that year.
Here are the key figures from a not so cheerful report:
€19,550: That is the net median household income for people living in metropolitan France in 2011, which comes out to €1,630 per month. It was stable over the previous year, though the amount was prone to jumps and falls in the years prior. In fact between 2004-2008 it went up 1.8 percent per person, but that was before the economic crisis hit France.
Fourteen percent: Just about 14.3 percent of the French population were living in poverty in 2011, a number that increased by 0.3 over 2010 and has been steadily going up since 2008. Apart from the obvious influence of France’s stagnant economy, the climb in the number of poor people can also be explained by the increasing difficulty for families to escape from poverty once they’ve fallen in.
€10,530 – €37,450: The people at the bottom 10 percent of France’s economy make less than €10,530 per year after taxes, which is about €877 per month. The wealthiest 10 percent take home – a minimum of – €37,450 per year. France’s wealthiest saw their income go up over the previous year by as much as 0.8 percent, while the poorest saw theirs fall up by the same percentage.
€978: That is the monthly post-tax income of a single person living below the poverty line in France. Of the people under that line, only eight percent are employed.
Thirty percent: Just under a third of the people who fall below the poverty line stay there for three years. People progressively exit poverty, with some 80 percent getting out in four years. However, the longer a person stays poor the more difficult it is for him or her to climb back above the poverty line.