Precariousness: nine million French people in material deprivation, a growing share

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INSEE publishes this Thursday a study on the percentage of people in a situation of material and social deprivation that will increase in 2022. The share of the population affected has never been higher since the implementation of the indicator in 2013.

This Thursday, INSEE publishes a study on theapart from people in situations of material and social hardship. In 2022, nearly 14% of people are affected. This percentage has reached its highest level since 2013, when it was first measured.

With these data, INSEE identifies people who are unable to cover the expenses related to at least five elements of daily life among thirteen criteria, among which we find the impossibility of heating the house sufficiently, of buying new clothes, or even the impossibility of paying for a week’s vacation a year. If in 2021 the indicator was at its lowest level due to the confinements and restrictions implemented during the year 2020 which “had then affected the lifestyles and consumption of the population […] and therefore eased the constraints on household spending”, the trend was then reversed.

Difficulties related to the heating of homes on the rise

Between 2014 and 2021, 5 to 7% of French people live in a household that did not have the financial means to adequately heat their homes. This figure rises to 10%, according to the report. This increase is certainly linked to the increase in energy prices last winter, “and in particular that of domestic fuel oil, a heating fuel that vulnerable households use more than others,” underlines INSEE.

Single parent families and large families are more at risk

Single parent families and large families are also more exposed to the risk of material deprivation. As stated in the report: last year, “three out of ten people who lived in single-parent families found themselves in a situation of material and social deprivation, and two out of ten people in couples with three or more children”.

The disparities also concern the inhabitants of medium-density rural and urban municipalities. In these residential areas, energy expenditure is higher and “the frequency of situations of material and social hardship has increased significantly compared to 2020”. Conversely, in large urban centers, the trend has been downwards since 2020.

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