French Society

On 1 January 2006, Metropolitan France had an estimated 63.1 million inhabitants. France thus accounts for more than 12.9% of the European Union’s population. In 2006, life expectancy at birth was 77.2 years for men and 84.1 for women. Since 1994, this figure has increased by two years for men, but by only one year for women.

Population

Demographic situation (2006)

- Births: 831 000
The fertility rate is 2 children per woman. The birth rate is 13.1‰.

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Crèche (Paris) © F. de La Mure / M.A.E.


- Deaths: 531,000
Mortality rate: 8.4‰

- Marriages: 274,400. Since the start of the 1990s, the number of married couples has fallen while the number of non-married couples has risen from 1.5 million in 1990 to 2.4 million - one couple in six today.

- Divorces: 152 020.

Religions

The French Republic is a secular state where all religious faiths and denominations are found.

Education

In 2007, education spending amounted to €77 billion, 28% of the national budget. This represents 6,9% per inhabitant.

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Photo : F. de La Mure / M.A.E.

Preschool, primary and secondary schools:

- 12, 342, 900 pupils
- 884, 000 teachers.
- 67, 581 preschool and primary schools, collèges and lycées.

- Pupil/teacher ratio: 13.9 to 1.
- Baccalauréat pass rate (2007): 83.3%.

Higher education:

- 2, 275, 000 students
- 89, 300 teaching staff
- 92 universities
- 3,600 higher education establishments.

Student/teacher ratio: 25.4 to 1.

www.education.gouv.fr

Labour force

France has a total labour force of some 27.6 million. Within this category, 25.1 million are wage and salary earners and 2.5 million, 9.8% of the total labour force, are job seekers (January 2004). 74.5% of men and 63.8% of women are in employment.

Breakdown by type of employment (2006)

GIF

  29,1 % Clerical, white-collar workers : 8 031 600, 29.1% of the total labour force
  23,9 % Manual workers : 6,596,400, 23.9% of the total labour force
  23,2 % Intermediate occupations:6 403 200, 23.2% of the total labour force
  14,7 % Managerial and professional occupations: 4 057 200, 14.7% of the total labour force
  6 % Self-employed craft tradesmen, shopkeepers, heads of businesses: 1 656 000, 6% of the total labour force
  2,7 % Farmers, farm workers: 745,000, 2.7% of the total labour force
  1,3 % unemployed who have never worked

Standart of living

Net average annual earnings: €21,480 Gross average household savings: 15.3% of disposable income.

Consumption (% of household spending)

GIF

  23,9 % Housing, electricity, heating
  18,2 % Food, drink and tobacco
  17,6 % Transport et communications
  9,2 % Leisure and culture
  6,2 % Household goods
  4,8 % Clothing
  3,7 % Health ;
  15,8 % Other goods and services

Earned income

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

Mean fiscal annual salary

- Professionals: €70 126
- Executives, management staff: €42 928
- Technical and supervisory personnel: €22 143
- Farmers, farm workers: €21 114
- Other intermediate professions: €20,000
- Skilled workers: €15 906
- Clerical, white collar workers: €15 327

Holidays

Statutory paid holiday entitlement: five weeks a year.
65% of people take a holiday away from home.

Trade unions

Approximately 1,38 million people in France - 5% of the working population - are union members. This is the lowest percentage in the European Union.

The main centralised trade unions are:

- the CGT (Confédération Générale du Travail)
- the CFDT (Confédération Française 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. Benefits are financed on a "pay as you go" basis.

- 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.

www.travail.gouv.fr

Health

Health is a major concern of the French: in 2005, they spent €190,5 billion on medical care and goods.

77.15% 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 health insurance branch of the Social Security system.

www.sante.gouv.fr

Updated on July 2007

Dernière modification : 11/09/2007

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