When the Bundesbank set out to study where Germany’s seemingly healthy wealth was going to, they discovered some disturbing realities as more than half of the population had little to no wealth at all. So where is the money going in Europe’s most economically sound country? The answer can be found in a small group of elite citizens.
It is not all that unusual for a country’s wealth to be mostly found among a small part of the population, but in Germany the top 10 percent of the population accounts for 60 percent of it, leaving a pretty wide gap between the rich and the poor.
Germany’s bottom half of the population has to make do with a very small 2.5 percent of the country’s wealth.
However to put the number into perspective, one of the most recent estimates in the United States shows the top 20 percent of Americans own around 80 percent of the wealth in the U.S.
While looking at the numbers, the Bundesbank was able to identify property ownership as a leading factor in the wage gap. Those who own property are at a significant advantage in Germany, and those who rent, which happen to also be a majority of the population, find themselves falling way behind in earnings.
Germans who owned their own home saw an average wealth increase of 33,500 euros ($37,800) between 2010 and 2014. Renters only saw a 1,000 euro increase at best in that four year period.