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Report: Standard of living up in France

April 29, 2011 at 4:52 PM

PARIS, April 29 (UPI) -- A French report says the country's standard of living has doubled in the past 40 years, although the gap between rich and poor has not changed for 10 years.

The national statistics agency Insee has released the latest figures from 2008 showing most households exist on an average budget of $3,500 a month -- $150 more than 10 years ago, Radio France Internationale reported Thursday.

However, the Insee figures indicated a large disparity between the country's richest and poorest households.

The lowest 10 percent have a monthly budget of less than $1,600 while the top 10 percent have at least $7,300 a month to spend.

The biggest gap between rich and poor is found in the capital Paris and surrounding suburbs, the report found.

Despite the increase in the overall standard of living, some 8 million people still live below the poverty line, defined as a monthly budget of $1,400, the report said.

France ranks third in terms of annual revenue worldwide with an average of $42,482, behind the United States with $57,873 and Germany with $43,268 but ahead of British households earning $42,333, RFI reported.

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