In France, “great poverty” affects nearly two million people, according to INSEE


Some 1.9 million people in France are affected by the “Great poverty”, that is to say that they live on less than 930 euros per month for a single person, and at the same time undergo many “Material and social deprivation”, calculated INSEE in a study published this Thursday, May 27.

This phenomenon concerns 2.4% of the population (excluding Mayotte), a “Relatively stable proportion over 10 years”, notes INSEE, which is based on data dating back to 2018. France is thus in a position “Median” in Europe, between countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Finland or the Netherlands, where extreme poverty affects less than 1% of the population, and Romania, where this rate reaches 11%.

“In France, among 18-24 year olds, there are more poor people than in many European countries”

Great poverty is “Often lasting”, according to the statistical institute: among the particularly poor, 25% are still poor after three years and more than 60% still experience at least one form of poverty (material or monetary).

“Over-represented” children and adolescents

While poverty is most often defined as earning less than 60% of the median standard of living (14.5% of the population is in this case in 2019), the “Great poverty” is based on another threshold, at 50% of the median standard of living, to which is added the fact of undergoing at least 7 deprivations in his daily life, from a list of 13 relating to housing, leisure, etc.

Yes, we can eradicate poverty!

Thus, 81% of people in great poverty declare that they cannot buy new clothes and almost 90% say that they cannot afford a week’s vacation or a regular leisure activity.

Children and adolescents are “Over-represented” in extreme poverty: they account for 20% of the general population, but for 35% of the poorest.

A third of the very poor are employed

If, logically, the phenomenon affects the unemployed a lot, as well as the inactive who are neither pensioners nor students, it does not however spare workers: a third of the very poor are in employment, “Including a large proportion of workers and people working part-time or discontinuously during the year”, notes INSEE.

The phenomenon is particularly significant in the overseas departments: Martinique, Guadeloupe, Guyana and Réunion together account for 14% of all the very poor, and Mayotte alone for 10%.

Mayotte, the abandoned island of youth

In the latter department, where 40% of housing is made of metal, three quarters of the population live below the threshold of 50% of the national median income. “Even though the status of material and social deprivation cannot be precisely measured” for this population, the “Almost all” of these poor are “Very likely” struck by the “Great poverty”, estimates INSEE.



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