Very low incomes, a high unemployment rate, significant inequalities… in the overseas departments and regions (DROM), severe poverty is “five to fifteen times more frequent” than in mainland France, according to a study of the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee) published Monday, July 11.

Nearly 18% of French people in a situation of extreme poverty live in the DROMs, even though they represent only 3% of the French population. Guyana remains the most affected overseas territory: 29% of the population is in a situation of extreme poverty, compared to only 2% of French people in mainland France.

More frequent poverty, therefore, but also more intense. In Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion, half of people in extreme poverty live on less than 690 euros per month, compared to 790 euros per month in mainland France. In Guyana, half live on less than 470 euros per month.

Frequent material deprivation

This income does not allow households to meet their needs. In these territories, material and social deprivation is three to five times more frequent than in metropolitan France, estimates INSEE: no departure on vacation, very little leisure and outings which are becoming rare…

Deprivations also affect basic needs, such as food and clothing. Four to five out of ten people go without meat and 60% to 80% of them cannot buy new clothes, notes INSEE.

On the other hand, whatever the degree of household poverty, the car and the Internet are not part of the current restrictions: essential in the overseas territories, they make it possible to maintain a link, despite situations of great poverty.

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