France is one of the richest countries in the European Union. This is attributed to the considerable economic growth performance. The country’s GDP growth has been strong in the year 2011, at a rate of 0.9%, given the fact that the country left recession period earlier than other European Nations. The important sector contributing to good economic performance is agriculture.
However, despite strong economic growth, poverty still looms in France. The rates of poverty have risen with an average household surviving on an income that is less than 19,000 euros per annum. As a result, more than 10% of the population is surviving with half the amount, and as such more families live below the poverty line; that is, they earn less that 10,410 euros per year. In addition, the country is experiencing a shortage in education facilities with university students lacking living facilities due to inability to pay rent. In the light of this point, the government has pledged to provide 600 million euros for student housing in 2011 (Porter & Prince, 2010).
Furthermore, bidonvilles are still prevalent in France, even despite the effort undertaken by the government to provide shelter to those living in slums. More families in France live below the set poverty levels. Moreover, as such, approximately 56% of French populace has tested poverty. In relation to other nations, France is ranked at the sixth position, and as a result, it points out that poverty level is inversely related to economic growth. Moreover, France has put in place some measures, in particular, social welfare system that gathers for the needs of the poor. Indeed, the data captures that most of those people categorized as living below the poverty line are the unemployed, with unemployment standing at 9.9%. As a result, many people have registered to receive welfare benefits from the government (Steves & Smith, 2010).