History of France

Trente Glorieuses
Paris ©Willem van de Poll
1946 Jan 1 - 1975

Trente Glorieuses

France

Les Trente Glorieuses was a thirty-year period of economic growth in France between 1945 and 1975, following the end of the Second World War. The name was first used by the French demographer Jean Fourastié, who coined the term in 1979 with the publication of his book Les Trente Glorieuses, ou la révolution invisible de 1946 à 1975 ('The Glorious Thirty, or the Invisible Revolution from 1946 to 1975').


As early as 1944, Charles de Gaulle introduced a dirigiste economic policy, which included substantial state-directed control over a capitalist economy. This was followed by thirty years of unprecedented growth, known as the Trente Glorieuses. Over this thirty-year period, France's economy grew rapidly like economies of other developed countries within the framework of the Marshall Plan, such as West Germany, Italy and Japan.


These decades of economic prosperity combined high productivity with high average wages and high consumption, and were also characterized by a highly developed system of social benefits. According to various studies, the real purchasing power of the average French worker's salary went up by 170% between 1950 and 1975, while overall private consumption increased by 174% in the period 1950–74.


The French standard of living, which had been damaged by both World Wars, became one of the world's highest. The population also became far more urbanized; many rural départements experienced a population decline while the larger metropolitan areas grew considerably, especially that of Paris. Ownership of various household goods and amenities increased considerably, while the wages of the French working class rose significantly as the economy became more prosperous.


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Last Updated: : Fri Mar 24 2023