Are You Rich? A New Study Defines What It Means To Be Wealthy

Dollar bills in a big pile

A new study defines what it means to be rich

Sharon McCutcheon / Unsplash

If you’ve ever wondered what it means to be rich and at what point you might think that you’re well off, a new report from L’Observatoire des Inégalités, an independent organisation which studies inequality in French society, has come up with a number.

In 2017, the median income in France was €1,370 per month per person ($1,549) and the new study found that to be rich, it would mean that you need to earn double this figure. So being rich for one individual would amount to earning €3,470 ($3,924) every month.

Dollar signs in lights

Dollar signs in lights

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If you are in a couple with children, you would need to earn €7,827 each month ($8,851) in order to be considered ‘rich’.

According to this measure, therefore, 5.1 million people in France hit this threshold, as reported in The Connection, which amounts to just over 8% of the population.

The research also highlighted several other key statistics, namely:

  • the 1% richest people in France take home €6,650 ($7,441) after tax each month;
  • 500,000 people take home over €100,000 ($111,865) per year; and
  • the absolute richest people, who take home €38,500 ($43,083) each month, account for just 0.01% of the population.
A gold necklace and a coin with an Euro note and coins

A gold necklace and a coin with an Euro note and coins

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The study considered what it means to be “rich” and came to the conclusion that it meant, first and foremost, having the money to house yourself well–in the sense of having more than 60 square metres (645 square feet) of space to yourself, which is far from being the norm.

Secondly, it considered being rich as having a luxury car–only 10% of the population in France have a high-end vehicle. On top of this, the study considered having home help, a cleaner, being able to go on holiday and participating in leisure activities.

It also considered being wealthy in a wider sense, in regards to job security, by having a full time contract with benefits, that isn’t threatened by unemployment. Having control over working hours and not punching into a machine.

Having a wide network of friends and relatives was seen positively as was access to education and being able to acquire a university degree, which often denotes people’s place in society. In this sense, they noted that la richesse appelle la richesse, that is to say, wealth begets wealth.

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