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Malta’s Richest 10% Now Own More Than Half The Country’s Wealth 

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Malta’s rich are getting richer, according to new statistics. In fact, the richest 10% of people now own half of the country’s wealth, and the rest of the population has seen its share decrease between 2010 and 2017

A report on wealth distribution and social mobility in EU member states by Eurofound, an EU agency focusing on living and working conditions, has found that between 2010 and 2017, Malta was one of five countries to experience a clear increase in wealth inequality. 

The data is based on the national Household Finance and Consumption Survey, conducted by the European Central Bank in 2010, 2014 and 2017.

During this period, the 5% wealthiest people in the country saw their share of wealth increase from 33% to 40% – by far the group that registered the largest increase. The only country to register a larger increase in this category was The Netherlands, where the wealthiest 5% saw their share of wealth increase from 32% to 43%. 

Those in the 90-95 percentile saw a 1% decrease in their share of wealth, while the bottom 50% saw their share of the country’s wealth decrease from 55% to 48%.

Other countries that registered a “similarly clear upward trend in wealth inequality” were Cyprus, Greece, Malta, the Netherlands and Slovakia.

Despite the fact that Malta registered a clear increase in inequality, it remained one of the countries with the lowest levels of it across the EU. 

Malta actually registered the sixth lowest level of wealth inequality among the countries for which data was available, similar to that registered by fellow Mediterranean countries Italy and Greece. Germany, The Netherlands and Cyprus were the countries with the highest inequality levels in the EU.

The average net wealth of the richest 1% reached €3.35 million in 2017, one of the highest recorded. The net wealth of the poorest 20% of the population was €10,443.

Another interesting finding related to the proportion of people holding below-average net wealth, which decreased between 2010 and 2014 before increasing to its highest point, 77%, in seven years in 2017. Malta registered the second-highest proportion of individuals holding below-average net worth in 2017 

The analysis also found that Malta had the lowest proportion of people with negative net worth, meaning that their assets are lower than their liabilities, likely reflecting the fact that Malta has a high rate of home ownership. 

What do you make of these findings?

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Yannick joined Lovin Malta in March 2021 having started out in journalism in 2016. He is passionate about politics and the way our society is governed, and anything to do with numbers and graphs. He likes dogs more than he does people.

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