• Germany's news in English
 

Are Germans poor in European terms?

Published: 29 Mar 2013 14:48 GMT+01:00

Figures contained in the report "Households and their finances" showed that the average value of assets per household was significantly lower in Germany than in France, Spain, Italy and Austria.

Commentators were swift to put the figures in the context of Germany’s role in the eurozone crisis. Television channel RTL reported on ordinary hard-working Germans supporting their much wealthier European counterparts.

Joachim Poß, parliamentary member of the centre–left SPD party, said “Before European taxpayers’ money is paid out, countries that want to help should pay more attention to private wealth.”

But the applicability of the figures produced by the Bundesbank is limited on a number of levels. The data from Spain dates back to 2008, before the housing market collapsed. "Average" household wealth was measured by the median, which is the value in the middle when figures are listed in ascending order, rather than the mean, which is the figure landed at when all values are divided by the number of households in question.

While both Germany’s mean and median values are low in comparison to other countries, the difference in the median value is more marked. The data also did not take into account pensions and social welfare payments.

Home ownership, which is far less common in Germany than elsewhere in Europe, is likely to have had a big impact on the figures.

While the effects of Germany's robust economy may not be being felt on the ground, a separate report released last week found that Germans were at less risk of poverty than the EU as a whole.

The Local/kkf

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

17:47 March 29, 2013 by Englishted
Please stop the spinning I'm getting giddy and sick.
19:14 March 29, 2013 by Kennneth Ingle
It is always a question of averages and these reflect only part of the truth. There is plenty of wealth in Germany, but most of it is in the hands of a lucky few. The normal working citizens are left with the debts made by a series of governments which have in vain tried to buy the friendship of other states.
20:51 March 29, 2013 by ovalle3.14
This is certainly not a poor country, and on a macro scale it is a very rich country indeed, but if you believe what the official sources feed you, you'd think all of us working in this country are getting richer by the hour when the truth is somewhat different.

Like Mr. Ingle above put it, this wealth is staying in the hands of a few individuals.
14:38 March 30, 2013 by Englishted
@ovalle3.14

The wealth is not just staying in the hands of a few ,that few are increasing the gap year on year often by pushing the poorest in society closer to poverty .

A trend that is being repeated across the developed world, we seem to be going backwards not forwards .
15:55 March 30, 2013 by Tilak RaJ
It is like every where here in Germany also the same things, that wealth is staying in the hands of a few individuals.
07:36 March 31, 2013 by owlguard
I have to agree with #1. The article was so full of spin that it was obviously done to confuse and defuse what would otherwise be a very insulting report. Germany who is being asked to come up with more money to support countries who citizens are better off than they are.

I would like to hear from German citizens and what they think of this report.
08:20 March 31, 2013 by Wolfgang Fritz
I also agree in that this is misleading the public, to claim Germans with such low unemployment are worst off than those with such high unemployment.

To end with that they are not, however, subject to poverty contradicts the initial premise in that they worst off.
21:40 March 31, 2013 by tangledeuro
Germans keep calm and hide all the Money..let them finish their study with a wrong result..!!
15:43 April 3, 2013 by veronica22
give me just 1 piece of 500 euro paper every month , am just very happy and satisfied to deal with it ~~~~~
Today's headlines
Start-up helps new Berliners slash red tape
Hate waiting in line at the Bürgeramt? There's a company that lets you pay to get the perfect appointment. Photo: DPA.

Start-up helps new Berliners slash red tape

Why waste time jumping through the hoops of German bureaucracy when you can pay someone else to take the hassle off your hands? A new Berlin company is offering to do just that - and it's got city officials fuming in the process. READ  

Michael Jackson shrine may have to beat it
A fan visits the makeshift Michael Jackson memorial in Munich. Photo: DPA.

Michael Jackson shrine may have to beat it

A memorial set up in Germany by some of Michael Jackson's most ardent fans the day after his sudden 2009 death has come under threat in a strangely emotional turf war. READ  

Ai Weiwei in Germany as UK slammed over visa
Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei arrived at Munich airport on Thursday, greeted by his son and son's mother, filmmaker Wang Fen. Photo: DPA.

Ai Weiwei in Germany as UK slammed over visa

Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei arrived in Munich on Thursday on his first overseas trip since he was arrested nearly four years ago, after Britain denied him a six-month visa because he did not declare a supposed "criminal conviction" on his application. READ  

'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Photo: Wikipedia

'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?

Frankfurt Airport is one of many places in Germany to offer women their own 'bigger and nicer' parking areas. Is this sensible practice or plain sexist? READ  

German offshore wind power breaks records
Turbines at the Norsee Ost farm in the North Sea. Photo: DPA

German offshore wind power breaks records

The amount of new offshore wind energy put on the grid in Germany in the first six months of 2015 has broken all previous annual records for Europe combined, a report released on Thursday shows. READ  

Unemployment hovers at historic low
A construction worker in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

Unemployment hovers at historic low

German unemployment stayed at 6.4 percent in July, the lowest level since reunification almost a quarter century ago, despite an unexpected rise of 9,000 jobless, the federal labour office said on Thursday. READ  

Lifted by cheap fuel, Lufthansa triples profit
Photo: DPA

Lifted by cheap fuel, Lufthansa triples profit

German airline Lufthansa, still reeling from the crash of one of its Germanwings planes in March over the French Alps, said on Thursday it tripled net profit in the second quarter, helped by cheap fuel. READ  

Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Manuel Neuer. Photo: DPA

Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe

World Cup winning goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has faced a wave of derision on social media since giving a cringe-worthy interview to football magazine Kicker explaining his choice of commercial partners. READ  

Shoot-out near Ku'damm leaves bystander injured
Photo: DPA

Shoot-out near Ku'damm leaves bystander injured

A shoot-out near Germany's most iconic shopping street, the Kurfürstendamm in west Berlin, left an apparently innocent bystander injured after she was shot in the leg on Wednesday evening. READ  

Refugees live in fear of German far-right
A Pegida demonstration in Dresden in May. Photo: DPA

Refugees live in fear of German far-right

It's an astonishing statement for a refugee from war-torn Syria, but Taher has had enough of the xenophobia he has experienced in Germany. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Society
In North Germany, money sometimes DOES grow on trees
National
Hero mechanics stop Bavaria shooting spree
International
Denmark says that border controls are coming
National
Did hackers take control of German missile battery?
Politics
Munich gives gay pride green light
Business & Money
Berlin rent controls hit prices hard
National
Fighting to breastfeed in public without shame
Society
Ice cream for dogs 'gobbled up in one gulp'
Education
Are hotpants a feminist issue?
Rhineland
Lion cub reunited with mother
National
How the heatwave is cracking Germany's Autobahns
International
Why the French are more sympathetic to Greece than the Germans
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Gallery
Police seize pensioner's WW2 heavy weapons haul
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Politics
What's really in the Queen's handbag?
National
Germans say USA doesn't respect freedom
National
Yes, you CAN buy adult e-books before 10pm in Germany
VIDEO: Watch a 93-metre turbine crash to earth in slow motion
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,225
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd