In Italy, half of the wealth is in the hands of 5% of families

ROME – Home Sweet Home. Whoever touches it will die politically. Or he’ll win the election by protecting her. Reason? Bricks are worth half the wealth of Italians. He confirms it a new study by the Bank of Italy. Which proves the weight of inequalities in our country. The top 5% of families own 46% of net wealth. Against 7.6% of the poorest half.

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Peak in 2016

It was even worse in 2016, when the concentration in several hands touched 48%, an all-time high, the current level of Germany. A huge increase, from 40% in 2010, which corresponded to 8.5% available to the poorest half of families, from 7% in 2016.

In these six years – between 2010 and 2016: the upside-down years of the sovereign debt crisis –Gini index, which oscillates between zero and one to measure inequality, rose from 0.67 to 0.71. It then dropped, but very slightly, to 0.7. Proof that the gap hasn’t widened, but it hasn’t closed either. And it stays wide.

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To the poor, home and account

To understand what the wealth of Italians consists of without their debts, the Bank of Italy divides families into two. In the first half are the poorest, in the second half the middle class and the richest 10%. The “medium” asset level which divides both groups at the end of 2022 was around 155 thousand euros. In 2010 it was 200 thousand euros, which in 2016 fell to 150 thousand.

The lower that level falls, the more wealth is squeezed into the hands of the less well off. Wealth is 75% housing and 17% deposits: almost everything at home and some savings in the bank. The richest 10% focus only 36% on a house, they prefer shares and participations (30%), funds and insurance policies (19%) as well as deposits (11%).

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If you look at the absolute values, the division is even clearer. The 95% of all financial assetsAlmost all of them belong to just 10% of the wealthiest Italian families. Even non-financial activities, such as shares in small companies with up to 5 employees, are the privilege of two-thirds of the richest and the other third of the middle class.

What is happening in Europe

In Europe, Germany surpasses us in inequality. The average property of the richest families is worth 2.4 million (the same as in France), the poorest only 19 thousand euros. Our range ranges between 60 thousand euros and 2.3 million.

Our “poor” are three times richer than the Germans. House preference: we prefer ownership, they prefer (subsidized) rent. France is more similar to Germany (45 thousand euros versus 2.4 million, between the minimum and the maximum). Spain resembles Italy (65 thousand euros against 2.1 million).

The least happy middle class is the Italian one: has an average of 320,000 euros, compared to 350,000 in Germany, 380,000 euros in Spain and 480,000 euros in France. In 2010, half of Italy’s housing stock was owned by the middle class. Now only 45%. The rest goes to the richest.

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