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Welfare

Published on November 29, 2007

FRENCH SOCIETY

As of January 2012, the total population of metropolitan France (mainland + Corsica) and French overseas départements was estimated at 65,4 million inhabitants (source: National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies).

Life expectancy remains on a steady uptrend, at 77.5 years for men and 84.4 years for women in 2007. The French population continues to age, and the proportion of the youngest age groups is diminishing despite a significant number of births in the past several years. .


Social and Demographic Information

- • Births: 816,500 (2007)
- Fertility rate: 1.98 children born/woman (2007).
- Birth rate: 12.9 births/1,000 population (2007)
- • Deaths : 526,500 (2007)
- Mortality rate: 8.5 deaths/1,000 population (2007)
- • Marriages: 266.500 (2007)
- Marriage Rate: 4.2 marriages/1,000 population (2007).
- • Divorces : 139,150 (2006)

Structure of households (2005)
- 56.2% Couples
- 32% Couples with at least one child
- 33.0% Persons living alone
- 8.2% Single-parent families
- 2.6% Non-families

Breakdown by age (2007)
- 24.7% under 20 years old
- 54.0% 20 to 59 years old
- 21.3% 60 years old and over
- Average age: 39.2 years

More information at www.insee.fr

Religions

The French Republic is a secular state where all religious faiths and denominations are represented.
- Roman Catholic: 83 %-88 %
- Muslim: 5%-10%
- Protestant: 2 %
- Jewish: 1 %
- Unaffiliated: 4 %

Education

In 2007, education spending amounted to €77 billion, 28% of the national budget. This represents 6,9% per inhabitant. There are 67, 581 preschool and primary schools, collèges (middle schools) and lycées (high schools). 3,600 higher education establishments exist in France.
- Preschool, primary and secondary schools:
- 12, 342, 900 pupils
- 884, 000 teachers

Pupil/teacher ratio (2007): 13.9 to 1.
Baccalauréat pass rate (2007): 83.3%.
- Higher education:
- 2, 275, 000 students
- 89, 300 teaching staff.

Enrollment rates (2004):
- 99.7% of 3-year-olds
- 97.4% of 16-year-olds
- 52.7% of 20-year-olds

More information
at www.education.gouv.fr

Labor force

France has a total workforce of some 27.6 million. Within this category, 25.1million are wage and salary earners, 2.2 million are non-salaried wage earners, and 2.72 million, 9.8% of the total labor force, are job seekers. 74.5% of men and 63.8% of women comprise the French labor force (2005).

More information at www.insee.fr

Breakdown by type of employment (2003)

- 29.0 % Office workers
- 24.0 % Manual workers
- 23.1 % Intermediate white-collar occupations
- 14.7 % Managerial and professional occupations: 3,7 millions
- 2.6 % Farmers

Standard of living

Net average annual earnings: €20,440 (2004).
Gross average household savings: €1,900 or 16% of disposable income.

Consumption (% of household spending)
- 24.7 % Housing, electricity, heating
- 17.0% Food, drink and tobacco
- 17.7 % Transport and communications
- 9.3 % Leisure and culture
- 5.8 % Household goods and maintenance
- 4,9 % Clothing
- 3,5 % Health
- 11,2 % Other goods and services (restaurants, travel, etc.)
Earned income

Household income (2005)
+ Gross primary income: €1,268 billion
- Transfers net of redistribution: - €148 billion
= Gross disposable income: €1,120 billion

On June 29 2007, the guaranteed monthly minimum wage (SMIC - salaire minimum interprofessionnel de croissance) was €1 280,07 gross per month for a working week of 35 hours at an hourly rate of €8.44.

Mean fiscal annual salary

- Professionals: €70,126
- Executives, management staff: €39,360
- Technical and supervisory personnel: €21,190
- Farmers, farm workers: €21,114
- Other intermediate professions: €20,000
- Skilled workers: €14,906
- Clerical, white collar workers: €14,850
- Unskilled workers: €13,960

Vacation

Statutory paid vacation entitlement: five weeks per year. 69% of people spend vacation time away from home.
On January 1, 2006, the average work week was 38.9 hours.

Trade unions

Approximately two million people in France - 5% of the working population - are union members, the lowest percentage in the European Union.
The main centralized trade unions are:
- the CGT (Confédération générale du travail),
- the CFDT (Confédération démocratique du travail),
- FO (Force ouvrière),
- the CFTC (Confédération française des travailleurs chrétiens)
- the FSU (Fédération syndicale unitaire).

Social welfare

The French Social Security system was introduced in 1945. In order to better address new demographic trends, the pension system underwent a major overhaul which was adopted as law in July 2003. Benefits are financed on a "pay as you go" system.

65.5% of total social security spending (29.6% of GDP) comes from employers and employees’ contributions and 17.4% from taxes, including earmarked taxes such as the CSG (Contribution sociale généralisée - social security contribution levied on virtually all sources of income) or the CRDS (Contribution pour le remboursement de la dette sociale - contribution to the repayment of the social debt) which apply to all income other than that deriving from work. This is virtually the sole source of funding for the Social Security system. Public financing accounts for 13.5% of total resources.

Benefits break down as follows: pensions (44%), health (35.2%), family allowances (9%) and employment aid (unemployment benefit, vocational training and social integration) (7.4%).

However, the growing number of pensioners compared to the labour force, combined with medical advances and longer life expectancy, has led to a deficit in the French Social Security system and in 2003 to reform of the pension contribution system.

More informations
at

www.travail.gouv.fr

Health

Health is a major concern of the French; in 2004, they spent €173.9 billion on medical care and goods.

75% of this was covered by the social security system, with an increasing proportion being met by households and insurance companies. A major programme of reform was instituted in 2004 to balance the accounts of the helath insurance branch of the Social Security System.

More information at

www.sante.gouv.fr

Useful websites : www.insee.fr
www.education.gouv.fr
www.travail.gouv.fr
www.sante.gouv.fr

For further information

Ministry of Employment and Solidarity

Ministry of Education

National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE)

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