Inequalities in living standards increased slightly in France between 2008 and 2018

Inequalities in living standards increased slightly in France between 2008 and 2018

INSEE does not yet have comparable data for the year 2020, which could attest to the impact of the health crisis.

People are waiting in a Pôle emploi agency in Gap (Hautes-Alpes), on March 25, 2021. (THIBAUT DURAND / HANS LUCAS / AFP)

Inequalities in living standards increased slightly in France between 2008 and 2018. This is the conclusion of a study published Thursday, May 27 by INSEE. The standard of living of the richest 20% of households was 4.43 times higher than that of the least well-off 20% in 2018, against 4.35 times in 2008, estimates the National Institute of Statistics in its report on household income and wealth. But this gap would have been much larger without the existing redistribution measures, such as social assistance, underlines INSEE.

In detail, over the period, half of the population had a standard of living below 1,771 euros per month, i.e. a level “Slightly higher” Similarly, the standard of living of the lowest 10% was lower in 2018 than its 2008 level, the rise in unemployment over ten years having reduced their income, before redistribution. Conversely, the income of the better-off has increased, in particular their income from property.

“The crisis will have a strong impact on low income”

INSEE does not yet have comparable data for the year 2020, which could attest to the impact of the health crisis. But “Several elements suggest that the crisis will have a strong impact on the incomes of the most modest households”, estimated during a press videoconference Valérie Albouy, head of the household resources and living conditions department at INSEE. She cites in particular the increase in the number of beneficiaries of RSA and housing assistance, or the fact that 22% of households believe that their monthly income has fallen by at least 50 euros between March 2020 and spring 2021, particularly young people, the self-employed and low-income households.