They say you don’t talk about money. And yet almost everyone is interested in how much their neighbor or boss earns. Many are also curious when it comes to the assets they have saved. There are a number of calculations for this. One says: Whoever has 946.00 euros after deduction of all debts belongs to the richest ten percent.

Every German has an average of 162,600 euros. This number is provided by the Federal Statistical Office. Debts such as a real estate mortgage have already been settled. The range within Germany is large: Citizens in the old federal states have an average of 182,000 euros, residents of the new federal states only 88,000 euros.

All of these are average figures, and the authority’s status dates from 2018. That was before the Corona crisis and Putin’s attack on Ukraine.

The question of when someone is considered rich occupies economists again and again. And of course the citizens. Experts distinguish between two approaches: Is it about the income or about the assets that someone has. The “Handelsblatt” points this out.

Very few are happy to answer questions about their assets. Those who don’t have anything prefer to keep it secret. If you have a lot, you don’t want everyone to know.

According to the results of the so-called Socio-Economic Panel, Germans with net assets of half a million euros were among the richest five percent of the population in 2017/18. Net assets means: Debts and negative items such as installment loans and overdraft facilities have already been deducted.

The panel is a long-term study by DIW Berlin (German Institute for Economic Research) and is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education, among others. The scientists survey around 32,000 people in around 22,000 households every year and provide important insights.

Recently, a new study came out that focuses more on real estate and business assets. Because according to the report, they are often considered undervalued, which means: If you apply realistic evaluations, then many are richer than they actually think.

This is also reflected in the amount of wealth above which, according to the more recent study, someone can be considered rich. According to this, someone must have 946,000 euros on the high edge in order to be among the richest ten percent in Germany. This was the result of the study by experts from Berlin’s Humboldt University and the University of Bonn with the DIW.

The study lists the following values:

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So if you have assets of 130,000 euros after deducting all your debts, you belong to the richer half of the population.

If you want to be among the top ten thousand in Germany, you have to have assets of 90 million euros. This is the case for the wealthiest 0.01 percent of the population – roughly 10,000 citizens, or 4,000 households.

Such fortunes cannot be accumulated even with high incomes. These are often heirs or owners of larger companies.

Wealth shares of the top 1 one and the bottom 50 percent

Let’s look again at regular income, the other measure of wealth.

The Federal Statistical Office determined an annual net income of 25,000 euros in 2020, which, as arithmetical value, was right in the middle of the German population. This is indicated by the “Handelsblatt” report. The value applies to singles. Experts refer to it as the “median”. That means: Half of the households have more, the other half less than 25,000 euros net income per year.

Converting the amount to 13 monthly income leaves a good 1920 euros per month.

For a family of four, the experts put the median at 3888 euros net per month. That corresponds to a good 50,000 euros a year.

The German state, on the other hand, has its own sizes above which it assumes wealth. With our tax system, the tax rate increases the more money a citizen earns. The top tax rate of 42 percent is currently applicable to taxable income (zvE) from EUR 58,597.

Anyone who earns more than 277,826 euros as a single has to pay an extra surcharge of three percent – a total of 45 percent plus solos. The double values ​​apply to couples. The top tax rate of 45 percent is considered by many to be a “tax on the wealthy”. A term that the finance minister would never use.

With the help of the PDF guide, you can complete the tiresome tax return in just 30 minutes. Plus: Tips and tricks for saving taxes and a large tax consultant test.