• The Ined and Insee Trajectories and Origins survey conducted from July 2019 to November 2020 was made public on Tuesday.

  • In 2019-2020, 19% of people aged 18-49 said they had suffered "unequal treatment or discrimination".

    They were 14% in 2008-2009.

  • Despite greater awareness, initiating proceedings following discrimination remains rare, due to a certain fatalism of the victims.

Having the impression that one is put in a box and that one does not benefit from the same opportunities as the others: a wound felt by more and more French people, according to the Trajectories and Origins of the 'INED and INSEE, conducted from July 2019 to November 2020 and made public on Tuesday.

According to this, 19% of people aged 18-49 say they have suffered “unequal treatment or discrimination”, whereas they were only 14% in 2008-2009.

An increase that can be explained by different causes according to Sylvie Le Minez, head of the demographic and social studies unit at INSEE: "We can hypothesize an increase in unfavorable treatment suffered by certain people, but also a greater sensitivity of citizens to the issue of discrimination.

Jean-François Amadieu, sociologist and president of the Discrimination Observatory leans more towards this second track: "The study concerns people aged 18 to 49 and who belong to generations particularly sensitive to the question of inequalities in our society.

This makes them de facto more receptive to the discrimination they themselves suffer”.

46% of women believe they have been discriminated against because of their gender

Unsurprisingly: origin is cited as the first reason for discrimination, followed by sex and age by the age group questioned.

But men and women do not mention the same exclusion factor at the top of the list.

For women, the sexist ground has become the main cause of discrimination.

And they are much more likely to confide in having suffered from it than 10 years earlier: in fact, 46% of them think they have been discriminated against because of their gender, compared to 28% in 2008-2009. A consequence of the #MeToo movement launched in 2017, according to Jean-François Amadieu: "Certainly, it was initially about freeing women to speak about rape and sexual assault, but the movement gave rise to other awareness concerning wage inequality,

differences in career development between men and women.

The latter know their rights better and feel more able to recognize that they do not always benefit from the same advantages as their colleagues”.

The feeling of being discriminated against increases a little for men, but in a more limited way (16% against 13% ten years earlier).

Origin and skin color remain the main reason for perceived discrimination (in 58% of cases).

People from overseas are those who report the most discrimination of this type (27%).

Initiating proceedings following discrimination remains rare

Another finding: religious discrimination has increased over the past ten years: 11% of people declaring themselves to be Muslim report religious discrimination, compared to 5% ten years ago.

This reason is much more salient for immigrants from the Maghreb, Turkey and the Middle East.

“The terrorist context, the significance of the public debate on secularism has led to tension around Islam,” explains Patrick Simon, research director at INED.

One constant remains: the low propensity to defend themselves among victims of this type of treatment.

Thus, reactions to discrimination consist of being indignant or contesting (38% of cases), or talking about it to relatives (46%).

Only 7% of people who said they had been discriminated against took action with an association, a union or the Defender of Rights, and 2% lodged a complaint.

“Fatalism prevails.

Because many victims consider that it is useless to report what they have experienced because they believe that the current landscape is not encouraging to change the situation, ”says Patrick Simon.


“There is an unbearable form of degagism vis-à-vis the old in France”, estimates Laure Adler


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