According to an analysis by economic researchers, a large part of the wealth in germany is in the hands of a few super-rich people. According to these, the 45 richest households had as much as the poorest half of the population in 2014.
Both of them have 214 billion euros in assets each. This was the conclusion reached by the german institute for economic research (DIW) in a discussion paper.
The environmental protection and aid organization oxfam had presented similar figures for 2017 and warned of increasing inequality in the world, but also in germany. The employer-affiliated institute of the german economy (IW) in colonia pointed out that the findings were not new and that the approach taken by oxfam and the DIW was one-sided.
The DIW researchers had supplemented previously available statistics on the distribution of wealth with information from the wealth rankings of the magazines "forbes" and "manager magazin". Oxfam bases its calculations on data from the swiss bank credit suisse and the wealth estimates of "forbes".
Taking into account the super-rich, according to the DIW calculation, the richest five percent owned more than half (51.1 percent) of total assets in 2014. According to the official figures of the european central bank, this group owns only 31.5 percent of the assets of the european union.
Oxfam calculates that in 2017, 42 people worldwide had the same wealth as the world’s poorest 3.7 billion people. And the richest percent of humanity owns more than the other 99 percent together. This minority also accounted for 82 percent of global wealth growth last year.
The IW called it "undisputed that the rich are inadequately captured in survey data because they are rarely part of the sample". However, it is often overlooked that the assets of the rest of the population are not always correctly recorded either.
For example, less than half of the respondents in the wealth surveys reported having insurance. If you add up the figures, you only get about 40 percent of the insured amount recorded by the deutsche bundesbank. The remaining assets in private pension and life insurance policies were allowed to be broadly distributed across the entire population. In addition, the surveys did not cover employees’ statutory pension entitlements, the IW noted.