Les classes moyennes en Europe au sortir de la crise de 2008Pierre COURTIOUX, Christine ERHEL, Daniel VAUGHAN-WHITEHEAD
Within European countries, France belongs to a group of countries (also including Germany, Belgium,
Netherlands, Spain) where the share of the middle class in total population stands at a relatively high
level. Besides that share appears stable over the last 10 years (as in Belgium and the Netherlands, and
contrary to Germany or Sweden where it has been decreasing).
Such middle-class resilience during the crisis, and more generally from 1996 to 2001, can be related to
three main trends : the stability of the middle-class share within total population, stable inequalities
within the middle-class, and a maintained growth in income.
However, the French middle-class has been hit by labour market changes. First, the share of managers
and professionals has increased in the middle-class, especially in the middle-class higher income group,
making that group closer to the higher income class. Second, the development of flexible forms of
employment (temporary employment, part-time and involuntary part-time) has been concentrating on
middle-class lower income group -and even more on the lower income class. Thus heterogeneity within
the middle-class seems to have increased in France despite its overall stability