Statistics and Polls / Statistiques et sondages


Please post here any message related to polls or statistics you may have found that illustrates, illuminates, or seems to contradict an aspect of American or French culture that you have been investigating. When you make a reference to a particular document on the internet, please make sure you provide the url.
Veuillez poster ici tout message concernant des sondages ou des statistiques que vous avez trouvés et qui illustrent, éclairent ou semblent contredire un aspect de la culture américaine ou française que vous avez exploré. N'oubliez pas d'indiquer l'adresse internet du document auquel vous faites référence.

I have been looking through statistics of salaries depending on the type of job/specialty, and I was quite surprised by what I saw.  When I compared the salary of an average doctor to that of a person who earns the least amount in France, I found that the average doctor only earns about 3 times as much.  However, in the U.S., the average doctor earns at least 6 to 7 times as much as a minimum-wage earner.  Of course, it is true that in both countries, doctors tend to be wealthier than others, but the difference was not comparable.  Perhaps, though, this rather small difference in salaries is a reason that French students responded positively to forums concerning careers/jobs?  It is certainly true that many people view being a doctor as something very prestigious, but there is also the great benefit in earning a lot of money, which is quite an attractive factor for many.  However, if, like in France, the salary difference is not such a big difference, then perhaps fewer people would choose to become doctors and study what they would like to study and have jobs they would like to have?  I'm not implying that all students who choose to become doctors in the U.S. do it for the money, not at all.  But it is true that one would rather have a job that pays well than one that doesn't.  What do you think?  Or do you think this salary factor doesn't really play into the French mentality?  What are some of the more favored/preferred jobs in France, and why do you think those are favored?

Health insurance and other issues concerning health are of interest to me, but I don't recall too many of you being concerned with health, but perhaps it is because medical care in France is so great.  So, I looked up how the French view health, and how much it is prioritized.  I found that actually, health is one of the more prioritized issues, and as I expected, around 90% of the French think that their "securite sociale" has either improved or remained the same over the past years (but around 65% thought the system had improved), according to IFOP.  Perhaps the American students did not express too much concern about health issues in this forum, but because I've heard about your excellent "securite sociale," I just wanted to ask about how much your age group prioritizes health?  Are most of you well-informed about the benefits you receive?  Also, on a slightly different note, how well do you take care of your health?  Do you (your age group) often buy organic products?  Do you exercise regularly?  What do you think about the large number of smokers? 

I am interested in learning about the education system in France. When I was looking through the statistics about education, I accidentally found a poll where a group of french men and women were asked about the impact of their elementary school(approximately from age 6-11) education on their personal development, 50% of the people said their elementary school education introduced a taste of learning, "le goût d'apprendre", 39% mentioned that they learned a sense of discipline, and surprisingly 38% said that their elementary education introduced to them the fear of failure, "la peur de l'échec". This poll reminded me of the forum where we have to talk about our greatest fears, many of the French students wrote things that are related to failures in life. I found it interesting at the time, but after learning about this poll, I am curious about how failure is perceived in France. In the U.S., we generally grew up with a lot of compliments in elementary school such as good job, well done, good try, don't worry, just try again, etc, therefore failure isn't such a great fear for many of the U.S. students. We were generally taught that if you fail the first time, get up and try again. Do you preceive failure in a similar way? or is failure usually a big disgrace in the french culture?

I also looked at a poll about parenthood in France. This poll interviewed a group of french dads and asked them if they usually take part in different activities with their children, such as taking them shopping, buy them school supplies, take them to the park, etc. 80% of the fathers said that they provide food for their children frequently, 73% of the fathers take their children to parks, 68% of the fathers help their children with their homework, and surprisingly, only 36% of the fathers said that he often buy school related supplies for their children. I can relate the results of this poll to what's been said in the forum about what is a good parent. Some of you mentioned that a good parent is someone who is always there " qui est présent", and who takes care of their kids, " qui prend soin de ses enfants" etc. Many of you talked about good communication between the parents and the children, an understanding parent. The poll shows that a good portion of the French fathers who were interviewed are very involved with their children. I am curious to know how often you interact with your parents once you are in college? Do most of you live at home while you are attending college?


Through the forums and discussions it seemed that in France the health system and general health of the people overall was better than the US, particularly health related to diet (many associated the United States with bad nutrition).  I found a stastic that broke down the cause of death by country in Europe.  Looking specifically at circulatory system related deaths, since these include heart attack and stroke, two big diet-related problems, the number of deaths in France is much smaller than in other countries.  This supports what seemed to surface on the forums.

The family:

Lots of the discussions on this site have centered around the family and the importance of the family in each culture.  It got me to wondering as to the average size of a family in France and the number of families.  I found the following statistics.  I'm not sure of the exact numbers for the US, but the number of French couples without children surprised me as being higher than I had expected.


I looked up family. It seems that in France, people marry around age 29, which is later than in the US. Do you notice that being true? Do people wait until they finish college and have a job before marriage, or is there another reason?

I was also surprised that in France, many young people live with their parents even up to age 29. Is it difficult to find an appartment, or is the large number due to college students living with their parents? Is it common for the unmarried to live with their parents? Here in the US, it seems that we want to live independantly as soon as possible.

I looked at a poll that showed the percentage of people with each kind of education diploma and it was divided into immigrants and non immigrants. It seemed that more immigrants had less education than non-immigrants. Do you notice this in your society? I assume that this is because immigrants have a harder time in school due to not knowing the language and possibly due to their living environments in the banlieues. Do you think these could be reasons?

I found that people in France marry, on average, about age 30, whereas most students are between the ages of 15 and 24. I found these surveys because when we were discussing family and important life events, we noticed that quite a few students in the French class were married and/or had children. So it seems that the students in the French class are either a bit older than the average student, or some people married unusually young.

The two surveys I looked at were:


I found a poll that stated that 59% of the people polled thought universities prepared people very badly for entering the working life. 59% is a pretty large number, but in the forums, no sentiment similar to this arose. What do you think about this?


I found another poll that was concerned with the role of the father. I noticed that whenever the poll asked the father whether he did things on his own for his children (like buying Christmas presents, or buying clothes), the percentage of fathers who said they did was quite low, between 20-40%. I was wondering if this is a reflection on whether mothers or fathers put more time and effort into their kids. Do you find that child-raising is done mostly by the mom?


In several polls that I found online, there was a big difference between the responses of young French adults (ages 18-24) and the overall French response. In particular, I was interested to note that a majority of young people - approximately 60% (versus 29% of all French people) - believed that the approach taken by President Sarkozy is a the primary reason for the current state of French suburbs (I'm assuming this refers to violence and poverty, which appeared in the word response forum). What could be construed as problematic with Sarkozy's policies (and what are they)? Are the suburbs a big political concern? Also, do you find that there is a big political divide between generations? If so, in what ways is this apparent?

Age of Marriage:

I looked at the polls displaying the statistic of the average age women/men marry in France. I discovered that in recent years, the age of marriage has increased gradually every year, compared to the past. I guess this is true for many parts of the world today. So the common age is around 29 for women in France. I remember that in the discussion of a sentence completion 'the greatest event in my life,' I saw couple responses relating to marriage or birth of a child.  Do you think this is atypical?  Is the poll fairly accurate?


I have been looking at polls regarding education and the attendance of students in schools. The ages varied all the way from 2 to highschool students. In the polls, I noticed that the percentage of 2 year olds enterred into some sort of pre-elementary program has been gradually dropping over the years.It has dropped about 4 percent over the past year. At the same time, in other responses I learned of the change to the academic week, from 5 days to 4 days. It seems like a lot of people are for this change, while others were concerned that there were too many days off before. It seems as though France is slowly moving away from formal education.  I was actually quite shocked that 2 and 3 year old were enrolled in some sort of school, yet I am interested in why this change is occuring. IS the idea to cut out some education, or to compress it into a shorter time? Have you observed any effects to these changes? Do people seem satisfied?


You can find the poll about the academic week at:


pre-elementary education:

It was interesting to look at the leading cause of death in France vs. other countries in the EU. In addition, it was interesting to compare France and the United States. In the US, cardiac disease is a leading cause of death. In France, circulatory disease is also a problem but is not as prevalent as in the US. This is probably due to unhealthy eating and exercise habits as well as stress in the United States. Tranditionally, the French eat healthier than Americans and this is reflected directly in the health of the citizens in each country.

Question: do you think the eating habits of the French are getting worse, staying the same or improving? How about the stress level? How do you think this will affect health issues in France in the future?




I found some data relating to taxes in France and the USA. The initial percentages is how much one "has" compared to the average wealth. The other percentages are how much of one's wealth one pays to the government

                  France                      USA

67%            44.4%                     27.8%


100%          49.2%                     30.0%


133%          51.4%                     33.3%


167%          53.1%                      35.3%


While I know that France has public health care, is there anything else that would make the French taxes so high? Also, how do the 133% and 167% groups feel about paying over half of their wealth to the government? 


It seems kind of odd to me that the MIT students have such a negative view of taxes even though the French pay much more back to the government.  What do you think? ignoring the fact that Americans are greedy and materialistic, of course ;),3425,en_2649_34533_1942475_1_1_1_1,00...

Table manners:


I read that, in France, one must not turn one's plate while eating. How prevelent is this etiquette rule?


Also, what actions would be considered disrespectful/rude while eating?

Alcohol consumption:

I found a survey here about the yearly consumption of alcohol in France:

It shows that the consumption of alcohol in France has decreased quite a lot in the past 30 years (from 20 litres pure alcohol per person per year down to 13), though France still ranks highly in terms of alcohol consumed per person (6th in the world I read elsewhere, whereas the US ranks 26). It claims that this is mostly due to a decrease in the amount of wine consumed. Do you guys feel that young people in France have a different attitude towards alcohol than older people (say, your parents)?


Pour répondre à Sohyun Park à propos de la santé et de la sécurité sociale, c'e'st vrai que nous avons de la chance par rapports aux autres pays car noous sommes très bien remboursés quand nous allons chez le médecin et chez les spécialistes. Le système est très bien fait donc même les personnes qui n'ont pas d'argent peuvent être soignés correctement. C'est la CMU, pour les personnes dont les revenus sont inférieurs à 500 euros par moi me semble t-il, si des français ont plus d'onfo, merci de les donner. Cependant, quand on a la CMU, les spécialistes sont réticents car paraît-il qu'ils sont remboursés plus tard et qu'ils perdent même de l'argent. Ainsi, cetains spécialistes tels que les dentistes et les kiné demandent si vous avez la CMU et si c'est le cas, ils vous refusent. Ce qui n'est pas sur pas légale car c'est de la discrimination.

En ce qui concerne mon rapport à ma santé, j'essaie en effet d'aller chez le médecin régulièrement etc... mais je fais aussi attention à ce que je mange, pour ma santé mais aussi pour l'environnement. J'entends par là que je mange bio et que surtout je suis vigilante à la présence d'OGM dans mon alimentation. Et je me permets de te rappeler que les états Unis sont les principaux producteurs d'OGM grâce à la merveilleuse entreprise MONSANTO! Ce n'est pas simple car il y en a partout! si les animaux ont été nourris au soja OGM, le fromage produit ave cleur lait ou leur viande sont contaminés!

Quel rapport entretenz vous avec les OGM? Etes vous informés des meffets qu'ils engendrent sur l'environnment et la santé humaine? Si vous ne faites rien, on va bientôt être envahis comme le sont déjà l'Inde et le Brésil! Même si les français ne sont pas d'accord, le gouvernement s'en fout!



Et maintenant des chiffres car sinon tout ce discours n'est pas très scientifique! et comme je parle avec des personnes du MIT tout de même, je dois donner des preuves à ce que j'avance!

C'est bien ça me force un peu à m'informer!

étude de l'IFOP en mais 2008 :

A la question : "A propos de la présence éventuelle d'OGM dans les produits alimentaires, diriez-vous que vous êtes personnellement très inquiet, plutôt inquiet, indifférent, plutôt pas inquiet ou pas inquiet du tout?   68% des français sont inquiets (35% très inquiets et 33% plutôt inquiets)

Je crois que ça suffit, à vous de voir sur le lien si ça vous intéresse.


A propos de l'âge moyen auquel se marrient les français, je crois que les personnes qui font partie de la classe moyenne, c'est à dire qui ont fait des études relativement longues et qui ont un travail qui leur plaît, dans lequel elles s'investissent semarrient plus tard et ont des enfant plus tard queles personnes des classes populaires qui font moins d'études. C'est ce que je peux observer tous les jours dans le métro, des mères jeunes qui ont plusieurs enfants et qui font partyie de la classe populaire (car malheureusement ça se voit quelques fois qu'on vient d'une classe en difficulté).

En ce qui me concerne, je préfère attendtre d'avoir une situation stable pour avoir des enfants et come je suis necore à la fac, j'en aurai certainement après 30ans!

In response to Lucie Bin, yes, there are many genetically modified food products in the US. Genetically modified foods are cheap and therefore popular. Recently, there has been a major push towards organic foods in the US. Organic foods taste better, are healthier and better for the environment. The only downside is that they are more expensive, which discourages a lot of people from investing in this healthier food.

I think it would be beneficial for more people to be informed on the potential negative effects of genetically modified food. As everyone knows, the US does not have the best eating habits and part of it stems from the type of foods we eat as well as the quantity. By at least increasing the quality of the food that we eat, Americans could benefit greatly.

I reserached the difference in education between immigrants and nonimmigrants in metropolitan France in 2007.

      The statistics showed that immigrants on average had received fewer educational diplomas than non-immigrants. The categories of diplomas were as follows: No degree, BEPC only, CAP and/or BEP, Baccalaureate, Bac+2 years, Degree higher than Bac. In nearly all categories, the percentage of immigrants who had received a particular diploma was lower than the percentage of non-immigrants who had received the same diploma; in several cases the immigrant percentages were as much as two times less than the non-immigrant percentages. Unless someone immigrates to another country for the specific purpose of obtaining an education, it is often the case (in my experience in the US) that such a person will be at a disadvantage educationally, but nearly a 2x disadvantage? Would you have expected such a difference between these two populations in France? Why do you think this is? Is the educational system for immigrants in France poorer than the educational system for the non-immigrants? Another interesting point is that the number of immigrants who obtained a diploma beyond a Bac. is larger than the number of non-immigrants.

I also researched the difference in rate of unemployment between immigrants and non-immigrants in metropolitan France, in 2007.

   Similar to my findings on the difference in education between immigrants and non-immigrants, I discovered that the rate of immigrant unemployment is greater than two times the rate of non-immigrant unemployment. Do you feel that these statistics are a result of the lack of education that immigrants seem to posses on average (as presented above)? Or is there some other reason? Could French national pride (French only want to hire their own kind) or racism have anything to do with these statistics?

Bonjour Jason,

J'espère pouvoir apporter quelques réponses à tes questions. Je pense que l'on trouve autant de différences dans ces statistiques sur l'obtention de diplômes pour plusieurs raisons.

Les immigrés vivent en général dans des quartiers où les établissements scolaires ne font pas partis des plus favorisés de la France, cela peut expliquer l'échec scolaire mais d'autres paramètres peuvent entrer en compte comme l'éducation des parents :Sont-ils venu en France pour travailler dans des emplois peu qualifiés ou sont-ils venus suivre des études ? Nous savons grâce à des études sociolgiques qu'il y a un lien entre les études des parents et celui des enfants or en France beaucoup d'immigrés sont venus pour trouver un travail et ce sont leur enfants qui sont maintenant scolarisés en France.

Je pense aussi qu'un des autres problèmes relève du système éducatif français qui a tendance au collège et au lycée à vouloir inclure tous les élèves dans un modèle qu'il faut suivre pour réussir. Ce modèle est bien sûr calqué sur des valeurs et des normes issues de la culture des groupes sociaux dominants en France. Beaucoup d'élèves non immigrants sont déjà en situation d'échec scolaire face à ce modèle qui les rejette, qu'en est-il des élèves issus de l'immigration qui doivent faire face à un système qui imposent ses normes et valeurs, ceci est peut-être une explication aux causes de l'échec scolaire chez les français issus de l'immigration. (voir le livre La Reproduction, Pierre Bourdieu)

Si la réussite est par contre plus visible dans les diplômes d'esnseignement supérieur c'est grâce à l'arrivée d'étudiants étrangers qui viennent poursuivre leurs études car l'offre et la reconnaissance des diplômes français est plus importante que dans leurs pays d'origine.

Nous avons donc deux groupes distincts, celui des enfants français issus de l'immigration et celui des étudiants étrangers. Les enfants français issu de l'immigration pour des raisons sociales et économiques ont plus de difficultés à utiliser "l'ascenceur social" que l'on propose en France. Alors que les étudiants étrangers viennent en France déterminés à réussir.

to Lucie:

In France, how much more expensive are organic products, compared to others?  As Ellie said, it would be great if everyone could put in the extra money to consume organic products, but they are quite expensive..  Anyone who can afford to just buy organic products would most probably do so, but living expenses would increase significantly if all families bought only organic products.  For example, college students like us would have a hard time with such expenditure.  In my opinon, unless there is some governmental action, it will be pretty much impossible to have the majority of the country consume mostly/only organic products.


me concernant j'essaie également de manger bio et je suis maman de deux jeunes enfants alors mon budget pour l'alimentation représente une grande part de mes dépenses. Néanmoins, aller faire ses courses et manger bio est à mon sens une question d'éducation et pousse le consommateur à cuisiner plutôt qu'à acheter des plats tout faits ce qui est aussi une manière de prendre soin de sa santé.

Y a t-il aux Etats-Unis des campagnes publicitaires incitant à consommer des produits "sains" tels que les fruits et les légumes car en France, je pense qu'il y a eu beaucoup de progrès dans ce domaine et les enfants apprennent dès l'école maternelle à manger équilibré et à préférer un fruit à une patisserie pour le goûter par exemple.



j'ai regardé le sondage concernant l'école et les apprentissages:

Il est effectivement frappant de voir à quel point les jeunes parents ont peur que l'école transmette à leurs enfants la peur de l'échec. Le système scolaire français induirait-il de plus en plus la compétition et l'évaluation? ou les parents auraient-ils de plus en plus tendance à vouloir protéger leurs enfants de tout sentiment d'échec?

Et aux Etats-unis, y a t-il ce sentiment de comparaison et de compétition entre enfants à travers les résultats scolaires? D'après ce que disait Cindy, le système éducatif, tout au moins pour les jeunes enfants reposent davantage sur des renforcements positifs de type "il faut réessayer quand on échoue", "il n'y a pas de honte à ne pas réussir du premier coup" que sur la sanction ou la mauvaise note. peut-être est-ce là la différence? Ou la différence est-elle plus de l'ordre de l'éducation en général? Les parents apprendraient-ils mieux à leurs enfants à avoir une bonne estime d'eux-même? Ou les enfants et les adultes se comparent-ils peut-être moins aux autres que nous n'avons tendance à le faire?

pour répondre à shoyun: en effet les produits bios sont en général plus chers que les produits classiques. mais c'est parce que le fait de ne pas utiliser les engrais chimiques et autres méthodes fait que la culture se fait plus à la main et moins de manière industrielle et surtout, la production n'est pas assurée en si grande quantité. je mange presque uniquement bios et je comprends l'argument du prix élevé, cependant si tout le monde achetait bio les prix baisseraient. de plus, on n epeut pas garder le meme mode d'alimentation quand on mange bio: les produit préparés et conserves coutent vraiment plus cher. par contre manger uniquement des légumes produits localement et de saison ne coute pas si cher que cela. Pour moi, les arguments essentiels pour manger bio: c'est meilleur, on mange la peau donc on en jette moins et en plus ca fait du bien aux êtres huamins et à la planète. mais comme l'argent domine le monde, on préfère dépenser moins et bouffer de la merde! Chacun ses choix!

à Christine Sprang.


Mes parents et moi n'avons pas la même façon de boire.

Dans ma façon de voir les choses, Mes parents ne boivent que pour le plaisir, un verre de vin par-ci, par-là, à table avec le dîner ou en apéritif.

Personnellement, c'est plus pour être ivre mort que je bois...

Je rigole. Je bois en soirée, avec mes amis, rarement seul pour le plaisir de boire un verre, et s'il est vrai que je suis rarement sobre à la fin de la soirée, je suis aussi rarement à rouler sous les tables et vomir partout.


Donc en résumé, quand on est jeune en France on boit pour faire la fête, tandis que plus âgé, on boit plus pour le plaisir d'une bonne bouteille de vin.

C'est comme ça que je vois les choses.


J'ai lu sur internet que votre pays était un gros consommateur de crack.

Vous gérez comment vos consommations de drogues, si vous en consommez? (crack, héroïne, cocaïne, ecstasy, marijuana, alcool...)

Vous en consommez personnellement?
Vos parents? amis? camarades?