France Social Condition Facts

Social conditions

The welfare system that was introduced at the end of the Second World War and which has since been further developed provides good basic security for the French. But rising costs have in recent years created great stress on social insurance systems. Expenditures for pensions and healthcare, in particular, have risen sharply. The high unemployment rate has also led to fewer contributions to the payments.

The social security system provides protection in, among other things, illness, unemployment and accidents. It also includes child support, parental benefit and pension. Right from the start, employers and trade unions had to take the main responsibility for social insurance.

  • Countryaah Official Site: Official statistics for population in France, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.

The retirement age was reduced to 60 years in the early 1980s, but was later raised again (see Labor Market). The pension system is complex and the regulations have varied between different occupational groups. Parents who have two or more children can receive parental allowance for up to three years; however, six months of the grant must be taken out by one parent and the rest of the other. The reform introduced in 2014 was hoped to lead to more men taking parental leave.

france population

Discrimination on grounds of sex or sexual orientation is prohibited. Women were given the right to vote in 1944. After the 2012 election, just over a quarter of the members of the National Assembly were women, which was a record for France. The newly elected left government was the first where half of the ministers were women. About 30 percent of women work part-time compared to 8 percent of men.

The gap between rich and poor is relatively large: the 20 percent with the highest income in the population earn five times as much as the 20 percent with the lowest income. Riot has erupted several times in socially vulnerable and immigrant-dense environments in the suburbs of big cities. For a few weeks in 2005, the country was shaken by the most difficult crows since the May 1968 revolt, when thousands of cars were set on fire, among other things. In 2007, it became possible to judge 16-year-olds by the same rules as adults.

Homosexuals have since May 2013 the right to marry and adopt children. The law was passed after a lengthy bitter debate and several months of extensive demonstrations, arranged by opponents of same-sex marriage.


Infant Mortality: 3 per 1000 births (2018)

Percentage of HIV infected: 0.3 percent (2018)

Proportion of HIV infected among young women

0.1 percent (2018)

Proportion of HIV infected among young men: 0.1 percent (2018)

Proportion of population with access to clean water: 100.0 percent (2015)

Proportion of the population having access to toilets: 98.7 percent (2017)

Public expenditure on health care as a percentage of GDP: 11.1 percent (2015)

Public expenditure on health care per person: US $ 4,263 (2016)

Proportion of women in parliament: 40 percent (2018)



The government is being reformed

Left-wing Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner is replaced and replaced by former Justice Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie. Former Prime Minister Alain Juppé becomes new Minister of Defense.

Military cooperation agreement with the United Kingdom

The agreement means, among other things, that the two countries will together carry out tests with nuclear weapons charges.


New mass protests

Millions of people take part in the fourth mass protest in four months, against Sarkozy’s economic policy and, not least, raising the retirement age. Train and air traffic are disturbed by the strikes, and many oil depots are blocked. Kravall police are deployed in their quarters and unrest is occurring. Despite tensions, Parliament’s two chambers vote yes to raising the retirement age.


The canning law is approved by the Senate

Canning law is approved by the Senate. (see January and July, respectively)


Camps for Roma are demolished

The government begins to demolish illegal camps for Roma and travelers and launches the deportation of more than a thousand Roma to Romania and Bulgaria. Sharp criticism comes from both the EU and the UN, who accuse France of violating Roman rights and of pure racism.


Yes to canning ban

The National Assembly votes by a large majority for a contentious bill to ban comprehensive covers, such as burka and niqab, in general.

Sarkozy dismisses two ministers

They are accused of misusing public funds. Sarkozy himself is also accused of receiving illegal contributions during his presidential campaign.


mass strikes

Millions of people strike against plans to raise retirement age. Public transport and teaching in schools are affected, postal, gas and electricity plants are affected, as are many factories.

Raised retirement age

The government presents budget cuts of EUR 45 billion. In the long term, raising the lowest retirement age from 60 to 62 is announced step by step until 2018.


Sarkozy makes state visits to China

France has an increasing economic exchange with China.


Defeat for the UMP

In the regional elections, the UMP government makes its worst election in half a century. The Socialist Party wins big with 54 percent of the vote and gains control over 22 regions. The UMP gains 36 percent and wins in a single mainland region. The election result is interpreted as criticism of Sarkozy’s policy, against the high unemployment rate and against plans for pension changes.