Standard of living in France still below 2008 levels

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Standard of living in France still below 2008 levels
A selection of 500-euro notes. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

The standard of living in France has seen a slight rise, but remains below the levels seen before the financial crisis, new figures show.


The median standard of living was €20,300 per year in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available, according to figures published by national statistics agency Insee this week. That works out at €1,692 each month. 

This was a small increase of 0.4 percent from the previous year, but is still below the standard of living recorded in 2008.

Insee said that the small rise remains in keeping with the long-term stagnation of the average standard of living since the global economic crisis.

According to the new figures, the poorest ten percent of the French population lived on an average of €10,860, while the richest ten percent had a standard of living which was 3.5 times greater, at €37,510.

And the wealthiest also saw the biggest improvement to their personal finances, with the standard of living rising by 1.4 percent for those in the richest tenth of the population, following two consecutive years of decline.

This doesn't quite match up to the drastic increase seen for the wealthiest five percent in 2015, who experienced a 2.3 percent rise in their standard of living. This "trend reversal" is due to the particular "dynamism of wages and pensions" for this portion of the population, Insee said.

The poorest ten percent also saw a rise in their standard of living, though by a more modest 0.3 percent.

With wages falling, this rise was largely attributed to social benefits, which accounted for around half of the disposable income of this category. 

In total, 14.2 percent of the French population were living below the poverty line in 2015, which is described as 60 percent of the median income. This was a very slight rise from 2014, when the figure was 14 percent, and Insee said the change was "not statistically significant".

REVEALED: The truth about rising poverty in France



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