Austrians ‘have more money than Germans’

Austrians 'have more money than Germans'
Photo: Milad Mosapoor/Wikimedia
Austrians on average have more spending power than Germans, according to Allianz’s Global wealth report for 2015.

Austria placed 17th in a ranking of countries with the highest net financial assets (gross assets minus debt) per capita.

In 2014, every Austrian resident had an average of €48,416 in financial assets, making the country the 17th richest out of 50 countries.

Germany fell from 16th to 18th place, with an average of €44.769 per resident. Switzerland remains the country with the highest net financial assets per capita, with an average of €157,446 in financial assets, followed by the US with €138,714 per capita.

Debt as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) was 51 percent in Austria – compared to 55 percent in Germany and a whopping 122 percent in Switzerland.

However, Austria is lagging behind in asset growth compared to other Western European countries. Gross financial assets (the combined total of bank deposits, securities, insurance and pension funds) grew by 2.5 percent in Austria during 2014, compared to a Western European average of 6.7 percent. Sweden saw the highest growth in assets, at 13.5 percent.

Overall, the financial assets of private households reached a record €135.7 trillion, enough to pay off the planet’s sovereign debt and still have two-thirds of the total left over, according to Allianz’s Oliver Bäte.

However, these assets are distributed unequally, with 71 percent (3.5 billion) of the planet’s population holding less than five percent of net financial assets. Eighty percent of the world’s net assets are held by the “upper wealth class”, which makes up less than 10 percent of the population.

The report shows that wealth inequality in Austria is continuing to rise, as is also the case in Germany. Austria comes in at 73.6 on the Gini coefficient (a measure of income distribution of a nation’s residents where zero is perfect equality and 100 percent is maximal inequality) – a deterioration of two points since 2000. The Gini coefficient average for developed countries is 64.6.

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