Are you part of Germany's richest 10 percent?

Are you part of Germany's richest 10 percent?

How much do you need to earn to be considered “wealthy” in Germany? It’s actually less than you might think. According to a new income analysis by the German Economic Institute (IW), a single person who earns a salary of more than 3.700 euros net per month is part of the highest-earning 10 percent in the country. 

Shining the spotlight on Germany’s wealthiest

Once again, the German Economic Institute (IW) in Cologne has examined income data from previous years to determine how much somebody needs to earn to belong to the top 50 percent, 10 percent, 5 percent and 1 percent of all earners in Germany. 

The figures are compiled using data from the so-called “Socio-Economic Panel” (SOEP), a regular survey of around 19.000 households and 35.000 people in Germany about income, jobs and salary developments. The most recent figures date from 2018. 

Do you earn 3.700 euros net per month?

According to this, in 2018 a single wage earner fell among the top 10 percent of earners in Germany if they had a net monthly income of more than 3.700 euros. Two years earlier, based on data from 2016, the cut-off was 3.440 euros

In 2018, anyone with a net monthly income of 4.560 euros or more was part of the top 5 percent. To reach the top 1 percent of earners, you would need a monthly take-home salary of 7.190 euros. This is equivalent to an annual net income of almost 86.000 euros, after taxes, or an annual gross salary of around 150.000 euros. 

Work out where your salary puts you

Of course, this figure is a big simplification, since relative wealth depends on a myriad of factors, including things like your employment status, your age, your location, your family, your gender, and your education, to name a few. 

For instance, you’re statistically more likely to be wealthy if you have a partner but no children and are not yet retired. Each partner in a childless couple needs to earn just 3.050 euros to belong to the richer half of the population, whereas a couple with two children under the age of 14 would need to earn more than 4.260 euros each. 

For this reason, the IW has created a graphic to show not only the income distribution for the entire population of Germany, but also a total of 31 subgroups that differ in terms of employment status, education, gender, place of residence, age and living situation. 

Using the calculator below, you can work out your position within society as a whole, and also within your own subgroup. Just fill in your household’s net monthly income, the number of people aged 14 and over, the number of people aged under 14, and toggle your comparison group preferences below. 



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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