Super-Rich Germany and Its Supermarket Billionaires

The Forbes World Billionaire List estimates Germany has more people with nine zeroes behind their name than anyone else in Europe: 120, compared with Ireland’s six. Per capita, the country is only marginally ahead of Ireland: 1.46 to 1.26. But that is not the only measure of how rich a country is.

Largest national economy

So how rich is Germany? It depends where – and what – you count. Indisputably wealthy, it is Europe’s largest national economy and the continent’s leading manufacturer, exporting vehicles, machinery, chemicals and electronics, among other products.

One reliable measure of wealth in the country is the Bundesbank, which says that, despite record low interest rates, private wealth in Germany jumped five per cent last year to €5,857 billion. The Bundesbank counts cash, bank deposits, shares and insurance policies – but not property. Stripping out private debt, the net wealth in Germany was €4,131 billion.

Households of the super-rich

But without a doubt, Germany’s rich are super-rich. Using the Forbes billionaires list to fill gaps in ECB wealth data, a recent report by Germany’s Institute for Economic Research (DIW) came to the attention-grabbing conclusion that just 45 households in Germany command as much wealth as half of the population: €214 billion each.

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Super-rich Germany and its supermarket billionaires

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