• Germany edition
 
Are Germans poor in European terms?
Photo: DPA

Are Germans poor in European terms?

Published: 29 Mar 2013 14:48 GMT+01:00
Updated: 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
Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall
Photo: Paul Sullivan

Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall

Two expats who walked the Mauerweg - the 160-kilometre trail that runs the length of the former Berlin Wall - have written a book about forgotten aspects of its past and present. READ  

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat
Photo: DPA

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat

Germany's biggest department store chain Karstadt will close at least six stores, putting around 2,000 jobs at risk, in a drastic bid by its new boss to return it to profit. READ  

Quiz
How well do you know Germany?
Photos: DPA/Shutterstock

How well do you know Germany?

Do you know your Saxony facts from your Saxony-Anhalt ones? Test your knowledge of Germany's federal states in The Local's quiz. READ  

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal
Pollution from a coal-fired power station in Frimmersdorf, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal

The UN's climate chief hailed a European agreement in Bonn on greenhouse gases on Friday as providing "valuable momentum" for a world pact to be inked in Paris next year. READ  

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth
Photo: DPA

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth

Germany will get an early Christmas present of around €779 million from the EU, thanks to weaker than expected GDP growth. READ  

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told
Photo: DPA

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told

It will take several days to find out what caused a massive explosion on Thursday which rocked a town on the Rhine, killing a builder and injuring 26 others. READ  

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'
An NH90 helicopter. Photo: DPA

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'

Germany's fleet of NH90 helicopters is undergoing engineering checks after one of them suffered a serious engine failure, in the latest blow to the country's military capabilities. READ  

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m
Rainer Schwarz at a court hearing in September into the case. Photo: DPA

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m

The man who was blamed for Berlin's miserable attempt to build a new airport must be paid more than €1 million - after being fired. READ  

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Kurds watching the attack on Kobane. Photo: DPA

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pressed UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon to bring possible poison gas use by Isis in Iraq before the Security Council. READ  

Spring back in German consumers' step?
Photo: DPA

Spring back in German consumers' step?

Update: Consumer confidence in Germany has stopped falling, as households appear to be no longer fazed by concerns about the economic fallout from geopolitical crises, a new poll found on Friday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Politics
Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: Huge explosion rocks Ludwigshafen
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
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

3,528
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd