Silver. Who is rich in France? Here are the ten occupations with the highest salaries

The poverty line is set in France at 60% of the median salary, or 1,102 euros per month for a person living alone, after taxes. On the other hand, there is so far no threshold of wealth, that is to say level beyond which one is considered rich. In his second Report on the rich in France published on June 1, the Inequality Observatory proposes setting this threshold at twice the median standard of living. As a reminder, the median standard of living divides the population in two: half of the French live with less money, and the other half with more.

According to this definition, we are rich from 3,673 euros per month after taxes for a single person, 5,500 euros for a childless couple or 7,700 euros for a couple with two children. 4.5 million French people live above this threshold, i.e. 7% of the population.

A tool to represent a relative reality

The director of the Observatory of Inequalities, Louis Maurin, makes it clear that this is only a statistical tool: “We are not claiming that it is a natural truth. It is a doorway into a house where you have extremely different situations”. He notes, for example, that people who have a standard of living just above this threshold often consider that they are not rich. The word “rich” sometimes leads to confusion between the ultra-rich, bosses of large companies and multi-owners, and people who are “only” well off. “The discourse of 99% against 1% of the population is demagogic, this is only part of the question”, argues Louis Maurin.

Professions that earn the highest salaries

To get an idea of ​​who these 4.5 million French people are, the Report on the rich in France provides the list of private sector professions with the highest average monthly salaries. Unsurprisingly, we find in this ranking management positions and highly skilled trades.

  • 1. Heads of companies with 500 or more employees: 16,641 euros net per month on average;
  • 2. Administrative, financial and commercial staff of large companies: 10,528 euros;
  • 3. Civil aviation technical and commercial officers and flight managers: 8,863 euros;
  • 4. Financial market executives: 8,399 euros;
  • 5. Salaried lawyers: 6,603 euros;
  • 6. Salaried dental surgeons: 5,902 euros;
  • 7. Non-hospital salaried doctors: 5,847 euros;
  • 8. Officers and technical seagoing managers of the merchant navy: 5,377 euros;
  • 9. Heads of service companies, with 10 to 49 employees: 5,372 euros;
  • 10. Commercial executives of large companies (excluding retail trade): 4,908 euros.

As for the public, the report notes that among the top 1%, more than half are doctors and hospital managers. The best paid public jobs are positions in embassies or consulates, in the state civil service abroad, with 13,800 euros net per month on average. Then there are senior management positions such as prefects, ambassadors or CEOs of public companies, with an average of 10,500 euros per month.

And in terms of heritage?

If we look at wealth, rather than the standard of living, the report proposes defining another threshold: a household is wealthy (rich in wealth), if it has at least three times the median wealth. The median wealth being at 163,000 euros per household, this sets a threshold at 490,000 euros, above which 16% of households are located. In fact, wealth is more unequally distributed than wages among the French population.

“We should distinguish between the two: talk about the rich in income and the rich in heritage,” suggests Louis Maurin. “Heritage is a form of insurance over time and helps protect against risks. It is something extremely powerful”.

He emphasizes the fact that when we are interested in very large fortunes, we escape any possible comparison since it is no longer a question, for example, of affording second homes or vacations, but “of strategies of power, representation, patronage to give yourself an image, to be able to shelter entire generations of your descendants…”

The greatest fortunes of France can buy…

To give an idea of ​​these immense fortunes, the report indicates that “Bernard Arnault could acquire all the housing of the 868,000 inhabitants of the city of Marseilles”, or of all the inhabitants of Lyon (less populated but more expensive). The Hermès family could buy all of Toulouse, while Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers is wealthy enough to buy all the homes in Bordeaux and François Pinault all those in Lille.

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