The Rich Get Richer

1,000 Euro Note

1,000 Euros – great, but would the Tabac cash one?

The number of very wealthy households in France increased between 2004 and 2007, says Insee, the French statistics institute, while the difference between everyone else’s wages remained relatively stable.

Jean-Louis Lhéritier of Insee said: “Top incomes in France rose sharply”.

The report based on 2007 figures shows a growing gap between highest earners– those in the top five per cent – and everyone else. Around 133,000 full time private sector staff earn more than 215,600 euros a year, Insee said. The number of those earning more than 100,000 euros a month rose by 28% between 2004 and 2007. There was a 70% increase in those who earned more than 500,000 euros a month, equal to just 1% of the population. The average income in 2007 was 21,080 euros a year, with the lowest 10% earning below 10,010 euros and the wealthiest 10% earning 33,900 euros.

Eight million people in France live below the poverty line, on less than 908 euros a month.

“Poverty affects 13.4% of people living in France,” Lhéritier said. “We note that poverty affects single-parent households the most … it also affects those living alone, large families with more than three children, families where the main wage earner is unemployed. People become poor often because of family events.”

One third of immigrants live below the poverty line.

Story: Ken Pottinger

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