Who are really the “rich” of France?

The Inequality Observatory will be published on Wednesday 1Verse June, A new report on the richest people in France, in order to better understand this mysterious idea: “to be rich.” The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee) does not set the threshold for wealth – unlike poverty – so the association suggests setting it at 3,673 euros per month per capita. After taxes, or 5,500 euros per couple, or twice the average standard of living. Thus, 4.5 million French are considered “rich”, or 7.1% of the population. The report stated:

If a person touching more than 93% of the rest of the population is not “wealthy,” how do we qualify? If some prefer the word “rich”, which is easier on their ears, they can use it. »

Macron: ‘A big bonus for the very rich’

With this definition it becomes possible to study the “rich”. Especially its development. And against all odds, it turned out to be even rarer. The rich made up 8.6% of the population in 2010. There was a decline between 2011 and 2014, before stabilizing between 2014 and 2017, and another decline since then. This is explained by the unfavorable tax measures decided by Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande, and secondly by the rise in the average standard of living (automatically raising the wealth threshold).

sequel after the announcement

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However, this decline does not mean impoverishment, quite the contrary. On average, the top 10% of French people earned an extra €2,200 each year between 2014 and 2019. This is double what middle-class people earned at the same time. This is due to higher compensation, especially among the top 1%, and more generous dividends that large companies pay to shareholders. But also, through Tax gifts to the rich, voted on after the first election of President Emmanuel Macron, decides the report. which adds:

“At the end of the day, income support simply increases with the standard of living: the higher your income, the more policies implemented between 2017 and 2022. With a big bonus for the very wealthy.”

82% ownership among the wealthy

It is clear that wealth is not only income, it can also be analyzed from the point of view of heritage. Then the observatory decides that in order to be “rich” with heritage, one must own more than an average triple heritage, i.e. more than 490 thousand euros. Thus it is said that 4.6 million French families are rich in it “Pierre”or 16% of the population (4% of whom are millionaires).

Of the country’s richest 10%, 82% own their own home, compared to an average of 56% for the rest of the population. To complete the composite picture of these wealthy people, they have a median age of 56.9 years, live mostly as a married couple (two-thirds of households) and are mostly CEOs (particularly managing and business executives).

On the other hand, there is no data on the distribution of wealth between women and men. However, on the income side, men represent 72% of the highest paid employees compared to only 28% for women.

sequel after the announcement

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Finally, as for the distribution, 16% of them live in Paris or in Hauts-de-Seine. The regions of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes follow the metropolitan area of ​​Lyon (12%), Nouvelle-Aquitaine, and Hautes-de-France (9% each).

The richest 10% own half of the wealth

Behind all this data and statistics, there is an important highlight: rising inequality. Of course, there are wage gaps. As the report summarizes:

Alone, the best paid 10% receive 31.3% of the mass of salaries paid in the private sector. »

This is especially surprising when you look at the top of the basket: France’s top five managers among the 120 largest companies earn between 660 and 1,400 years of minimum wage according to the ranking placed by Proxinvest. Their annual compensation starts between 9.7 million euros for Eric Vallat, CEO of Rémy Cointreau, and goes up to 20.6 million euros for Bernard Charles, president of Dassault Systèmes.

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In total, compensation for CAC 40 company executives was €8.7 million last year – unheard of. Another example of this rise: the weight of the first 500 fortunes amounted to 588 billion euros in 2020, according to the calculations of the Council for Economic Analysis according to the classification of the magazine “Challenges”. Twenty years ago, they had “only” 129 billion, a fourfold increase (+356%), while inflation was only 30% during this period.

sequel after the announcement

This gap between very high incomes and the rest of the French is of course reflected in the heritage. We can first look at the savings. To save money, you have to earn enough. On average, each Frenchman saves 4,800 euros per year, or 16% of his income. But the richest 20% save 16,000 euros a year, almost 30% of their income.

This saving is the basis of wealth, the embodiment of all differences. While 83% of the French own at least one bank book, wealth grows with real estate, but also with professional possessions, financial investments and valuables (cars, jewelry, artwork). Altogether, the richest 10% own nearly half (46%) of the family’s wealth.

Macron’s gift to rich heirs

This inequality increases particularly through inheritance. Rich parents make rich children and inequality persists. Insee reports that only 37% of families have inheritance, and that they focus on the elderly (54% of 60-69 years old and 53% of those 70 and over inherited). Added to this unequal distribution is the distribution of the amount: two-thirds of the properties are less than 30,000 euros. Only 13% above €100,000 (tax exemption limit for parent-to-child transfers).

Inequality in inheritance

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Thus, the Inequality Observatory states that “Receiving €100,000 or more never occurs in the working classes: only 7% of the inheritance received by working employees exceeds this amount; among blue-collar workers the percentage is small, because the case is very rare; it is 11% among non-senior employees”. Moreover, the richer a person is, the more they will inherit: 28.4% of families with very high wealth (more than €500,000) will receive more than €100,000, compared to only 4.8% among those with low assets (between 10,000 and 115,000). euros).

sequel after the announcement

Benefiting from endowments during his lifetime is more socially visible: a quarter of those who receive them belong to the richest 10% of the French. Despite this large disparity, candidate Emmanuel Macron promised to raise the minimum exemption from the inheritance tax to 150 thousand euros, as a campaign gift for the wealthy.

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