Wealth

Wealth

In Germany wealth is highly concentrated: as a rule, the more educated people are, the more they can save. Compared with their European neighbours, Germans have very little put away for a rainy day.

According to the European Central Bank, Germans’ total wealth amounts to some 8 billion euros, approximately three times the country’s annual economic output. This wealth consists of real estate, shares, cars, works of art and, of course, money slumbering in bank accounts and under pillows. After accounting for debt, the average German citizen has assets of 95,700 euros at their disposal. A rather different conclusion is reached by lining up everyone in Germany according to the value of their possessions and then identifying the person in the middle; this so-called median value divides the population into two halves, those with more and those with less to their names. In Germany, this median citizen has 25,200 euros at their disposal - only just over a quarter of the average.

Compared with the other Eurozone states the difference between the median and the average in Germany is striking, and indicates that the wealth in this country is distributed relatively unequally. By contrast, wealth in France, Italy and Spain is more evenly spread across the population. Moreover, the wealth of the median French person is more than twice that of the median German. The main reason why Germans fare so badly in this comparison is the low level of property ownership. More than half of personal assets in the Eurozone consist of real estate, a category in which the Germans have little to offer.

Judith Niehues

Dr. Judith Niehues

Head of the Research Group Microdata and Method Development

Tel+49 221 4981-768

Mailniehues@iwkoeln.de

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Christoph Schröder

Christoph Schröder

Senior Researcher for Labour Costs, Working Hours, Income Distribution

Tel+49 221 4981-773

Mailschroeder.christoph@iwkoeln.de

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Maximilian Stockhausen

Dr. Maximilian Stockhausen

Economist for Income and Wealth Distribution

Tel+49 221 4981-862

Mailstockhausen@iwkoeln.de

@StockhausenEcon

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