The poverty line in France is set at 60% of the average salary, or 1,102 euros per month for someone who lives alone, after taxes. On the other hand, there is still no threshold for wealth, i.e. the level beyond which one is considered wealthy. in a second Report on the rich in France The Inequality Observatory, published on June 1, suggests setting this threshold at twice the average standard of living. As a reminder, the average standard of living divides the population into two parts: half of the French live with less money, and the other half live with more money.
According to this definition, we are wealthy from 3,673 euros per month after taxes for an individual, 5,500 euros for a couple without children or 7,700 euros for a couple with two children. 4.5 million French people live above this threshold, 7% of the population.
A tool for representing a relative reality
The director of the Inequality Observatory, Louis Morin, explains that this is only a statistical tool: “We do not claim it to be a natural fact. It is an entrance into a house where there are very different situations.” It is observed, for example, that people who have a standard of living slightly above this threshold are often considered to be not rich. The word “rich” sometimes confuses the very wealthy, the bosses of large corporations and multiple owners, and the “only” well-off people. “The rhetoric of 99% against 1% of the population is demagogic rhetoric, and that is only part of the question,” says Louis Morin.
The professions with the highest salaries
To get an idea of who the 4.5 million French are, the Report on the rich in France It offers a list of private sector occupations with the highest average monthly salaries. Unsurprisingly, in this arrangement we find highly skilled management positions and trades.
- 1. Heads of companies with 500 or more employees: average 16,641 euros per month;
- 2. Administrative, financial and commercial staff of major companies: 10,528 euros.
- 3- Technical and commercial officers in the field of civil aviation and flight managers: 8,863 euros.
- 4 – Managers of the financial market: 8,399 euros.
- 5. Working lawyers: 6,603 euros.
- 6- paid dental surgeons: 5,902 euros;
- 7- Salaried doctors outside the hospital: 5,847 euros;
- 8 – Officers and technical directors of the Merchant Navy: 5,377 euros.
- 9- Heads of service companies employing 10 to 49 workers: 5,372 euros.
- 10. Commercial executives of major companies (excluding retail trade): 4,908 euros.
As for the public, the report notes that among the top 1%, more than half are doctors and hospital administrators. The best paid public jobs are positions in embassies or consulates, in the state’s civil service abroad, with an average net 13,800 euros per month. Then there are senior management positions such as governors, ambassadors or CEOs of public companies, averaging 10,500 euros per month.
In terms of heritage?
If we look at assets, rather than standard of living, the report suggests setting another threshold: a household is wealthy (asset-rich) if it has at least three times the average assets. Average wealth is €163,000 per household, and this sets a threshold at €490,000, above which 16% of households. In fact, wealth is distributed more unequally than wages among the French population.
Lewis Morin suggests: “We must differentiate between the two: talk of the rich by income and the rich by heritage.” “Heritage is a form of insurance over time and helps protect against risk. It is a very powerful thing.”
He stresses the fact that when we care about fortunes too great, we flee from any possible comparison because it is no longer a question of, say, providing second homes or vacations, but the “strategies of power, representation, and care you give yourself” of an image to be able to house whole generations of Your grandchildren…”
France’s greatest fortunes can buy…
To give an idea of these enormous fortunes, the report states that “Bernard Arnault could have all the housing for the 868,000 residents of Marseilles”, or the entire population of Lyon (less populated but more expensive). The Hermes family can buy all over Toulouse, while Françoise Bettencourt-Myers is rich enough to buy all the houses in Bordeaux and François Pinault all those in Lille.