Spain Richer Than Germany Says Bundesbank


Unbelievable, but true. A new report from the German Central Bank, or as it is called, the “Bundesbank”, has announced that, according to their calculatons,  Spaniards are 33% richer than Germans.

According to them, Germans can only dream about possessing the wealth and prosperity enjoyed by the Spaniards.” But how could this possibly be true?

Stats offered by the Bundesbank cite the enormous patrimony accumulated by Spanish families, including properties, cars and objects of priceless artistic value: Spaniards enjoy an average net patrimony of 285,000 euros, while in Germany this average falls to some 195,000 euros.

Surprisingly, the report makes no mention of the overvaluation of Spanish properties that have fallen almost 30% on average from the moment they were purchased. The report does not take into account another important fact: most of these properties which are attributed to private owners are currently owned by banks, due to the real estate crisis and rise in evictions and debt default.

On the other hand – truth be told – the percentage of German homeowners is a scanty 44% compared to the astounding 82% of home ownership in Spain. This fact is largely due to the German tendency to rent, rather than to own their own home. On the surface this may seem like a disadvantage – living in someone else’s home strikes fear into the minds of Spanish families. However, the important savings in maintenance costs and real estate taxes speaks volumes to German prosperity.

Just a couple of years ago, the Bundesbank considered home ownership as a poor option to business growth. When putting together this report, this same bank should have realized what they have been preaching to the rest of Europe: “accumulating debt doesn’t necessarily mean you are rich.”

The German central bank offers the following reflection: The average German family disposes of 51,400 euros, while the average Spanish family (according to them) disposes of an annual net patrimony of over 178,000 euros. (No wonder we haven’t already been rescued!)

The same study compares the existing conditions of inequality between rich and poor, yet it neglects to include the fact that paying the bills in Spain is not as cheap as it is in Germany, where families receive substantial financial assistance in the form of subsidies and what not in the form of children’s dental care and the 170 euros each German family perceives per child every month!

To put things in perspective, a Spanish couple would have to have 15 children and earn less than 35,620 euros to even come close to receiving the amount a Geman couple with two children receives in subsidies for healthcare and benefits from the German government.


to announce: to make public, to speak in public about something

to cite: to give as an example

average: the median, the most common considering all the numbers

to make no mention of: to not say anything about

to attribute to: to make reference to

default: failure to pay

“truth be told” – to tell you the truth, to tell you the real story

home ownership: owning a house

real estate: referring to properties: houses, chalets, land

to speak volumes: to say a lot about

“no wonder”: why should anyone have any doubt

to neglect: to not do, to fail to do something

to put things in perspective: to give you the real picture

About Paul Gibson

Economist, financial risk analyst, business English coach and entrepreneur...always disposed to new business ideas and offer support for new business plans. Specialist in e-commerce and marketing.
This entry was posted in A2 - Waystage English (Pre-Intermediate), B1 - Intermediate English, B2 - Upper Intermediate (Advanced English), C1 - Proficiency and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Spain Richer Than Germany Says Bundesbank

  1. Pingback: Economic Depression Is The New Success - Ready! Set! Bank Run! Cyprus - Iceland - Page 2 - ALIPAC

  2. Bill Clenney says:

    Your definition of “Average” under the Useful Terms section is a bit misleading for typical and common usage of the word. “Average” is mostly associated with the arithmetic “Mean”, which is the sum of the values divided by the number of values. “Median” is the central point of the data set, while “Mode” is the most common value in the data set. All three, Mean, Median, and Mode are considered by mathematicians as forms of averages. However, in every day speaking, the Average is considered the Mean and the other two likely yield very different results depending upon the data set discussed.
    For example, consider the following data points: 1,1,2,3,4
    The mean or average is (1+1+2+3+4)/5 = 2.2
    The median is “2” (the central value)
    The mode is “1” (it occurs most often)
    I hope this helps.


    • Thank you very much for your clarificatioin Bill!

      This is extremely helpful and I will certainly take note for future posts.

      Thank for your support and input! I hope you enjoy the blog!



  3. Pingback: A Propos du Jeudi 28 Mars 2013: Le Devoir de Mémoire par Bruno Bertez « le blog a lupus…un regard hagard sur l'écocomics et ses finances….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s