Poverty rate in France 2000-2017

In 2017, the poverty rate in France reached 14,1 percent. In recent years, poverty in France has been increasing, affecting both unemployed and working people. In fact, according to Insee, 10.3 percent of economically active persons had a living standard inferior to the poverty rate in 2016.

The increase of poverty in France

Poverty in France reached its highest rate in 2011. That year more than 14 percent of the French population was living below the poverty line, which means that their income was less than 60 percent of the median income in the country. Despite a significant decrease between 2000 and 2004, when the rate went from 13.6 down to 12.6 percent, poverty has been rising in France in recent years. Studies have shown that the number of poor people increased in France, reaching approximately 8.8 million individuals in 2017, while 10,777 thousand people were at risk of poverty or social exclusion.

Poverty affecting youth and middle classes

Poverty seems to affect mainly younger generations. In 2016, 12.5 percent of French aged between 18 and 29 years old were considered poor. In comparison, only 2.2 percent of French aged 65 and 74 years old were in the same situation. Youth unemployment in France, one of the highest in Europe, might explain this phenomenon. However, the middle class is not spared from the rise of poverty either. In 2017, 52.4 percent of French middle-income households were having difficulties to make ends meet.

Poverty rate in France from 2000 to 2017

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Release date

March 2019



Survey time period

2000 to 2017

Supplementary notes

The poverty rate represents the share of people living under the poverty threshold. In this statistic, people earning less than 60 percent of the median income are considered as poor.

In 2012, the calculation method has been changed.

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