Eight million people in France are living below the official poverty level - that's 13% of the population.One third of immigrants live below the poverty line.
However , research shows a growing gap between very wealthy households – those in the top five per cent of wage earners – and everyone else.The incomes of France's top earners rose much faster than the average in the three years to 2007, according to statistics , with the biggest increases seen by the top 0.01 percent.
The top one percent of the population saw its share of total revenue rise 9.1 percent, while the remaining 90 percent saw its share fall 0.9 percent.Some 133,000 full time employees in the private sector - the so-called very high wage earners - earned more than 215,600 euros a year.One per cent of the population earned more than 500,000 euros a month .The poorest ten per cent earned less than 10,010 euros a year
The "well-off", earning between 84,500-225,800 euros a year, saw their income advance by 16 percent during the period.
The "very well-off", earning between 225,800-687,900 euros, saw their income rise by 27 percent,
While the "most well-off", 0.01 percent of employees who earn half their revenue from capital, saw their income go up by 40 percent on average.