Any single person who has an income of €3,529 net per month or higher belongs to the top ten percent of earners in Germany.
That's up a couple hundred euros from 2016, when an individual had to earn at least €3,342 to qualify for the upper tenth.
READ ALSO: This is how much employees earn in Germany
The figures come from the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), a regular survey of 16,000 households throughout Germany conducted by the German Economic Institute (IW) in Cologne.
Couples without children are part of the top ten percent starting at a net household income of €5,294, whereas a family with two children under 14 years of age qualifies with a new income of €7,412.
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The researchers found that 55 percent of the top earners in Germany were men. Couples without children comprised 48 percent of top earners, followed by singles at 31 percent.
Most of the top earners were “highly qualified employees” such as engineers or doctors (24 percent) with an advanced degree, followed by employees in “qualified jobs” (16 percent) such as skilled workers, foremen or craftsmen.
The IW published the following interactive calculator (How wealthy am I in comparison?) so that employees can see how they measure up to other income earners in Germany.
It begins by asking: “How high is your monthly household net income in euros?” “How many people from the age of 14 live in your household?” and “How many people under 14 live in your household?”
More than eight million people
“Subjectively, very few people feel that they belong to the upper tenth, although the group comprises a little over eight million people,” said IW economist Judith Niehues.
At the same time, most people believed that the proportion of rich people in Germany was above 20 percent.”
Very few people therefore feel rich themselves, but at the same time think that there are quite a lot of rich people.”
The average net salary of employees in Germany was around €1,900 as of 2018, according to the Federal Statistical Office. The difference in salary between men and women stands at €600 per month.
An expert from the Hans Böckler Foundation, which works closely with trade unions, pointed out that existing inequalities are likely to be further aggravated by the coronavirus crisis.
“After a decade of strong economic growth and record employment, inequality in Germany is still so high that one cannot be satisfied with it,” the foundation director, Bettina Kohlrausch, told DPA
skilled worker – der Facharbeiter/die Facharbeiterin
affluent/wealthy – wohlhabend
definitions of wealth – (die) Reichtumsdefinition
aggravate/exacerbate – verschärfen
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