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WEALTH

This is how many millionaires live in Germany

A new report says Germany has the third largest number of dollar millionaires in the world – and the rich are growing. At the end of this year, however, the outlook could be different.

This is how many millionaires live in Germany
Archive photo shows people drinking champagne in Berlin. Photo: DPA

The number of dollar millionaires in Germany grew significantly last year, according to the World Wealth Report 2020 by the consulting firm Capgemini.

The research estimates the number of Germans with assets of one million dollars or more at 1.46 million (the World Wealth Report calculates in dollars for international comparability), reported Spiegel on Thursday.

READ ALSO: Who belongs to the top 10 percent of earners in Germany?

This group grew by more than 100,000 people, or 8.6 percent, compared to the previous year.

It means Germany has the third largest number of dollar millionaires after the USA and Japan, according to the ranking.

Number of millionaires worldwide growing

It comes despite Germany only just escaping recession in 2019. Calculated over the year, the economy as a whole grew by only 0.6 percent.

Nevertheless, Germany's development at the top of the wealth distribution ranking is fully in line with the global trend: the rich are getting richer – and at a much faster rate than everyone else.

READ ALSO: One percent of Germans 'own 30 percent of country's wealth'

According to Capgemini, the number of dollar millionaires worldwide also rose by almost nine percent last year – despite trade wars and geopolitical tensions.

The report estimates that the net worth of wealthy people across the world climbed to 74 trillion dollars at the end of 2019, up 8.7 percent from 2018 and 46 trillion dollars in December 2012.

The population of millionaires reached almost 20 million, including 183,400 with a net worth above 30 million dollars, compared to 18 million dollars in 2018 and just 12 million dollars in 2012.

USA at the top of rich-boom

Here's one reason for the millionaire boom– fuelled by low interest rates, many real estate prices have risen sharply despite the fact that the economy has already been weakening in 2019.

This was particularly noticeable in the US, where the phenomenon was exacerbated by the consequences of a tax reform where US President Donald Trump massively relieved the burden on companies and corporations.

And now for the technical part: the major US stock market indices all rose rapidly: the S&P went up by almost 29 percent, the Dow Jones by 22 percent, and the Nasdaq increased by more than 35 percent.

This is one of the reasons why the USA is at the top of this year's rich-boom: the number of millionaires there rose by eleven percent or almost 600,000 to 5.9 million. In 2019, for the first time since 2012, the increase was also higher in North America and Europe than in the Asia-Pacific region (plus 8 percent).

On the list Japan came second after the US with 3.4 million millionaires, followed by Germany, China (1.3 million in 2019) and France (0.7 million).

However, the outlook for 2020 is likely to be significantly different in view of the recession triggered by the pandemic.

According to estimates, investment markets lost up to 18 trillion dollars during the coronavirus crash on the stock markets in March.

Since then, however, there's been some recovery on the stock markets. We'll have to wait and see if the crisis seriously impacts the pockets of the super wealthy.

Vocabulary

Millionaires – (die) Millionäre

Grew significantly – deutlich gewachsen

German economy – (die) deutsche Wirtschaft

Trade war – (der) Handelskrieg

We're aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.

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LIVING IN GERMANY

REVEALED: The most commonly asked questions about Germans and Germany

Ever wondered what the world is asking about Germany and the Germans? We looked at Google’s most searched results to find out – and help clear some of these queries up.

Oktoberfest
Hasan Salihamidzic, the sports director of FC Bayern, arrives with his wife at Oktoberfest in full traditional dress. Photo: picture alliance/dpa |

According to popular searches, Germany is the go-to place for good coffee and bread (although only if you like the hard kind) and the place to avoid if what you’re looking for is good food, good internet connection and low taxes. Of course, this is subjective; some people will travel long stretches to get a fresh, hot pretzel or a juicy Bratwurst, while others will take a hard pass.

When it comes to the question on the bad Internet – there is some truth to this. Germany is known for being behind other rich nations when it comes to connectivity. And from personal experience, the internet connection can seem a little medieval. The incoming German coalition government has, however, vowed to improve internet connectivity as part of their plans to modernise the country.

There are also frequent questions on learning the German language, and people pointing out that it is hard and complicated. This is probably due to the long compound words and its extensive grammar rules, however, as both English and German are Germanic languages with similar words in common, it’s not impossible to learn as an English-speaker.

Here’s a look at some of those questions…

Why is German called Deutsch? Whereas ‘German’ comes from the Latin, ‘Deutsch’ instead derives itself from the Indo-European root “þeudō”, meaning “people”. This slowly became “Deutsch” as we know it today. It can be a bit confusing to English-speakers, who are right to think it sounds a little more like “Dutch”, however the two languages do have the same roots which may explain it.

And why is Germany so boring? Again, probably a generalisation, especially given that Germany has a landmass of over 350,000 km² with areas ranging from high rise, industrial cities to traditional old town villages and even mountain ranges, so you’re sure to find a place that doesn’t bore you to tears.

Perhaps it is a question that comes from the stereotype that Germans are obsessed with being strict about rules, organised and analytical. Or that they have no sense of humour – all of these things being not the most exciting traits. 

Either way, from my experience I can confirm that, even though there is truth to German society enjoying order and rules, the vast majority of people are not boring, and I’m sure if you come to Germany you’ll meet many interesting, funny and exciting people. 

READ ALSO: 12 mistakes foreigners make when moving to Germany

When it comes to the German weather, most people assume a cold and cloudy climate, however this isn’t entirely true. While the autumn and winter, especially in the north, come with grey skies and sub-zero temperatures, Germany can have some beautiful summers, with temperatures frequently rising above 30C in some places.

Unsurprisingly, the power and wealth of the German nation is mentioned – Germany is the largest economy in Europe after all, with a GDP of 3.8 trillion dollars. This could be due to strong industry sectors in the country, including vehicle constructions (I was a little surprised to find no questions posed on German cars), chemical and electrical industry and engineering. There are also many strong economic cities in Germany, most notably Munich, Frankfurt am Main and Hamburg.

READ ALSO: Eight unique words and phrases that tell us something about Germany

Smart and tall?

Why are Germans so tall? They are indeed taller than many other nations, with the average German measuring a good 172.87cm (or 5 feet 8.06 inches), however this may be a question better posed to the Dutch, who make up the tallest people in the world.

Why are Germans so smart? While this is again a generalisation – as individuals have different levels of intelligence in all countries – this question may stem from Germany’s free higher education system or their seemingly efficient work ethic. Plus there does seem to be some scientific research behind this question, with a study done in 2006 finding that Germans had the highest IQ in Europe.

So, while many of the questions posed about Germany and Germans on Google stem from stereotypes, we can confirm that some aren’t entirely made up. If you’re looking to debunk some frequently asked questions about France and the French, check out this article by our sister site HERE.

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