Gini co­ef­fi­cient of wealth

The Gini coefficient of wealth describes the wealth distribution in Germany.

The indicator is an established, internationally comparable way of measuring wealth inequality. It is measured on a scale of zero to one, and the higher the value, the greater the inequality. A value of zero indicates that all citizens have identical wealth and a value of one indicates that one person has all the available wealth.

The use of survey data to measure wealth is beset by significant methodological problems. Very high levels of wealth are particularly difficult to measure because this group is generally underrepresented in samples. It is difficult for respondents to estimate their assets because there are often no or only strongly fluctuating prices for capital goods (such as property). This is also why questions about assets often go unanswered. In Scandinavia, details of assets are kept in general registers. Given all of these aspects, the Gini coefficient only offers an approximation of the actual distribution of wealth.

The data source is the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). The data for comparing the 15 eurozone countries (cf. chart) was gathered by the Household Finance and Consumption Survey, which was carried out in households throughout the eurozone.

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