The French are so clubby, numbers show

18th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 17 (AFP) - The French are reputed to be fractious lot, prone toward finding differences rather than common ground, but when it comes to associations they can't wait to join in, according to recently released figures.

PARIS, Oct 17 (AFP) - The French are reputed to be fractious lot, prone toward finding differences rather than common ground, but when it comes to associations they can't wait to join in, according to recently released figures.

There are fully one million grassroots, non-profit associations in France, on average one for every 60 people in the country.

Nearly seven percent of all French people have, over the last decade, participated in the creation of an association, according to a study conducted by the Center for Research on Philanthropy (CERPHI).

Cultural activities, volunteer assistance for the needy, vacationing and sports -- accounting for 64 percent of the total -- are the top four categories that spurred the creation of more than 70,000 new associations last year, the study found.

Some 80 percent of French non-profit organisations -- also known as "1901 associations" after the year in which the law governing their activities was first passed -- are run entirely by volunteers, but nearly 200,000 have salaried employees.

Indeed, more than 1.6 million people work for associations, fully eight percent of all salaried workers in France and five percent of the entire working population.

More than half of salary-paying associations employ only one or two people.

Even more French people -- nearly one in four, or some 14 million -- do volunteer work of some kind, according to the National Volunteer Center.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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