The French dream life… wealth, beauty or intelligence?

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We are sharing with you a survey that we received in the editorial office on the occasion of World Dream Day on September 25, and which we find interesting.

This is a study carried out by the IFOP to from September 12 to 13, 2023 by self-administered questionnaire among a sample of 1,015 people aged 18 and over, representative of the French population. Here are some results:

Having enough money to the point of no longer having to work is one of the most shared desires by the French at a time when their purchasing power is being reduced by inflation and when the retirement age has just been pushed back by two years.

Desires for wealth vary considerably depending on the age or income of those surveyed by the institute. Moreover, a significant number of our fellow citizens, the oldest and the wealthiest in particular, would prefer, if this choice were possible, to be very intelligent rather than very rich.

Cherishing the hope of freeing oneself from material contingencies, almost a third of French men and women indulge in gambling every month. And if they were to land a jackpot allowing them to live the life they dream of, it would amount on average to around 26 million euros.

A new life in which they could primarily financially support their family and friends, travel or even buy real estate. All in all, very reasonable aspirations, very far from an everyday life of luxury and bling-bling.

…now let’s take a look at the stats…

No longer having to work for 6 out of 10 French people

  • 62% of French people often or sometimes dream of being rich enough to stop working. This figure reaches 78% among those under 35, 59% after 35 and rises to 64% for women compared to 60% for men;
  • 40% of French people would like to have remarkable intelligence. This is true for 61% of those under 35;
  • The desire for intelligence increases with income level: 39% for those earning less than 1,000 euros per month compared to 49% for those earning more than 3,000 euros;
  • Being very handsome or very beautiful to the point of seducing all their potential sexual partners tempts a third (34%) of respondents. In this case, this possibility attracts men (40%) much more than women (28%).

Wealth or intelligence: the French divided

  1. If they had to choose just one possibility, almost half (49%) of respondents would favor wealth, while 46% would opt for intelligence. Only 5% would choose beauty;
  1. Young people aged 18-24 seem to favor wealth (53%) compared to intelligence (39%). Conversely, among those over 65, 66% value intelligence compared to 33% wealth.

The price of a dream life?

  • For 50% of respondents, less than 1 million euros would be enough to achieve the life they dream of. 33% of 18-24 year olds say they would be satisfied with it, while 46% of those over 65 believe that a sum of 100,000 euros or less would be sufficient for them;
  • When it comes to wealth, 67% of people earning less than 900 euros per month believe they could make their dreams come true with up to 1 million euros. Only 31% of French people earning more than 2,500 euros per month are of this opinion;
  • The average amount set to lead a dream life is 26 million euros. Among the most modest categories, this amount amounts to 45 million, compared to 17.6 million for the wealthy categories.

Family, travel, real estate

  • In the event of a big win, 65% of those surveyed would keep it a secret;
  • 84% would use some of it to help family and friends;
  • 83% would treat themselves to trips and 80% would invest in real estate;
  • If the opportunity presented itself, 56% of workers would stop working. A proportion which rises to 70% for 50-64 year olds and 63% for men compared to 48% for women.


  • 39% of French people play gambling games at least once a month;
  • 30% try their luck each month at drawing games (Loto, EuroMillions, etc.) and 22% at scratch games (Cash, Bingo, etc.);
  • Sports betting (8%), horse racing (7%) and even casino games (4%) are far behind;
  • 35% of men play at least once a month. This is the case for 26% of women;
  • 44% of people with incomes between 900 and 1,300 euros play monthly, compared to 33% of the wealthiest.
Catherine Mills Avatar