Poverty in France: three maps showing inequalities between territories

Poverty in France: three maps showing inequalities between territories

The Inequalities Observatory published its report on poverty in France on Thursday. In particular, it shows very large disparities in the standard of living between territories.

The poverty rate varies greatly from one department to another.  (SCREENSHOT / FRANCEINFO)

The poverty rate is three times higher in Seine-Saint-Denis than in Vendée, according to the poverty report published Thursday, November 26 by the Observatory of Inequalities. In particular, it shows very large disparities in the standard of living between territories.

This study points to an already deteriorated social situation in France, even before the arrival of Covid-19 and its consequences. According to the latest data available from INSEE, in 2018, 5.3 million people lived below the poverty line, or less than 885 euros per month for a single person – half of the median standard of living. A figure that has been rising since the early 2000s (1.4 million additional people between 2002 and 2018). The report also provides a very precise mapping of the areas most affected by poverty.

The overseas departments among the poorest territories

Reunion, Martinique and Corsica: these are the three poorest regions in France. Then come Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur, then the Hauts de France. But when we zoom in at the departmental level, after the Overseas, it is the Seine-Saint-Denis where the poverty rate is highest, then the South, with Haute-Corse and Aude.

Conversely, which are the richest departments? First the Vendée, then Savoie and Haute-Savoie. The poverty rate is five times lower than on Reunion Island. On the island, one in four inhabitants lives on less than less than 885 euros per month.

It is interesting to see that poverty does not concern the same categories of population, depending on the territory. In Île-de-France, for example, it is first concentrated in large urban areas, it affects the working population. But in the less populated, more rural departments, it most often targets the elderly.

In some cities, one in two inhabitants live below the poverty line

When we move forward a notch, at city level, after the five poorest in Reunion, we then see Grigny (Essonne), Aubervilliers (Seine-Saint-Denis), Roubaix (North), Clichy (Seine-Saint-Denis) and La Courneuve (Seine-Saint-Denis). In these territories, almost one in two inhabitants lives below the poverty line.

Obviously nothing to do with Le Chesnay (Yvelines), Gif-sur-Yvette (Essonne), or even Vertou, near Nantes (Loire-Atlantique): these are the richest municipalities. The poverty rate is only 5 to 6%.