The statistics provided to Die Welt am Sonntag by the Federal Statistics Agency (destatis) show that in 2015, 624,000 Germans lived predominantly off their own private wealth.
Back at the turn of the millennium, this number was 345,000. By 2010 it had risen to 426,000 before shooting up to its current position.
The overwhelming majority (572,000) of these rentiers are based in the states that make up former West Germany. Only 52,000 are to be found in the former East.
A few thousand are not even 18 years old yet, the figures show. Roughly 7,000 people under the age of 18 said that their lives were financed primarily through their own assets rather than through pocket money from their parents.
Why this development has taken place is unclear. It could be that revenues from assets such as property have strongly increased in recent years. It is also possible that more people are using up modest pre-existing assets.
It is clear, though, that assets have grown in importance as a means of supporting oneself like no other category, Welt am Sonntag concludes.
While the number of people supporting themselves through employment has risen by seven percent since the start of the century from 33.7 million to 36.2 million, the number living off private wealth has risen by 66 percent.