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Study: foreigners rarely high earners
Photo: DPA

Study: foreigners rarely high earners

Published: 23 Jun 2013 15:03 CET

The German Bundesbank has released a detailed analysis of wealth distribution in Germany just weeks after a European Central Bank study found that Germans were on average poorer than their European neighbours.

The analysis, which looks at household and individual income, savings and debts by region, age group, profession and education, also briefly explores the discrepancy between the incomes of German and non-German residents.

Looking at average incomes, Germans earn €10,000 more than foreign nationals working here, taking home an average €44,000 a year as opposed to €34,000 for the average foreigner, wrote Die Welt newspaper on Saturday.

If the median (middle point of a set of numbers) is taken, the difference is even more apparent (€78,000 for Germans and €24,000 for foreigners).

This suggests, unsurprisingly perhaps, that not only are high paying jobs overwhelmingly in German hands, but that there are far more low-paid foreigners in the country than low-paid Germans.

Other findings further supported accepted wisdom about wealth concentration in Germany, with the richest people to be found in the south and west and the poorest in the east.

Seventy-three percent of all households own a car, for example, but in eastern Germany this figure drops to 61 percent and leaps up to 82 percent in the south.

Figures show that most of the south's privately-held wealth, however, appears to be tied up in property, which is also worth more there.

Yet in general, home-ownership remains much rarer in Germany than elsewhere in Europe and is a privilege reserved for the very rich. Whereas under half (44 percent) of Germans own their own home, this figure soars to 91 percent among the richest ten percent of the population.

Germans' lack of property is the biggest reason why they appear in European figures to be on average worse off than much of Europe, wrote the paper. By comparison, 83 percent of Spaniards own their own home.

The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)


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