Over 11 million people in France - or more than one in six of the population, live in poverty and social exclusion, a report published on Friday claims. Poverty has increased sharply since 2004 and even some people in work earn so little that they are classed as poor.
The report published by the observatory on poverty (Onpes) says France has resisted 2008-2009 crisis relatively well, but that the French are paying for the consequences.
In 2009 and 2010, 11.2 million earnt very low wages, or suffered from severe material deprivation or lack of work.
The report says 13.5 percent of the population earn less that 60 percent of the average wage in France. That means 8.2 million people live on less than €954. Considering that a studio apartment in Paris can easily cost €700 a month, that’s not very much.
Onpes also says that extreme poverty, people living with less than 40 percent of the average wage is also on the increase. Close to 2 million people survive on less than €640 a month. The report also says the increase of this very poor segment of population is slow but steady, and is not adressed by France’s social services.
The worst hit groups - single mothers, young adults and older women - are struggling more than other age or social groups. Onpes remarks that many poor people in France do work but that having a job no longer means workers are above the poverty threshold.