France’s statistics agency INSEE has documented the average wealth of the French population, and the results are certainly interesting.
In its report on 25th January, INSEE reveals that at the start of 2021, half of all households had gross assets of more than €177,200. Real estate accounted for 62% of this wealth, while the amount of wealth increased continuously with age until 60. It was a 6.7% increase on 2018, when the gross wealth of the top 50% was €166,100.
The gross wealth of the richest 10% sat at €716,300, whilst the lowest 10% had a maximum of €4,400, or 163 times less. The wealthiest people in France – the top 1% – had a gross wealth of €2,239,200.
The report shows that wealth remains very unevenly distributed among the population: half of the most well-off households hold 92% of assets, the top 5% hold 34%, and the top 1% hold 15%, while around a third of households with the least resources own little or no assets.
Real estate accounted for 62% of the wealth of all households, whilst on the lower end of the wealth scale, 30% had little or no ownership of real estate at all. Nearly six in 10 French households own a home, giving them an average gross wealth 8.6 times higher than those who rent or are given free housing.
Financial wealth represented 21% of all wealth, with those at the lower end of the spectrum having an average of only €400 in savings, whilst the richest 10% having at least €150,000 in reserve.
The top 1% of households distributed their gross wealth in a specific way, with more financial assets (27%, compared to 20% for the other households) and professional wealth (34% compared to 7%), and relatively less real estate (36% versus 67%).