10% of households hold more than half of the wealth in Spain

Economic inequality between households in Spain decreased between 2020 and 2022, according to the Family Financial Survey (EFF) of the Bank of Spain, which analyzes the income, wealth, assets, liabilities and expenditure of Spanish households.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
14 May 2024 Tuesday 04:26
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10% of households hold more than half of the wealth in Spain

Economic inequality between households in Spain decreased between 2020 and 2022, according to the Family Financial Survey (EFF) of the Bank of Spain, which analyzes the income, wealth, assets, liabilities and expenditure of Spanish households.

Thus, although the 10% of the wealthiest families in the country held 52.7% of the net wealth in 2022 (latest data analyzed by the survey), this percentage is almost two percentage points less than in the last measurement, in 2020 and the first time since 2008 that this quota has decreased. The 1% of the richest households in Spain hold 19.4% of the wealth, three percentage points less than in 2020.

In 2022, the average net wealth (real assets plus financial assets minus debts) of Spanish households stood at 309,000 euros and the median net wealth at 142,700 euros, 3.7% more than between 2016 and 2019. It is the “first time that net wealth has recovered, which has been falling since 2008,” highlighted Ángel Gavilán, general director of Economy and Statistics of the Bank of Spain in the presentation of the report.

All household groups (from the wealthiest to the least) saw their wealth increase in the period, although the most vulnerable and wealthiest groups increased more. The most vulnerable households saw their net wealth triple, although far from the 2011 data.

In this period, marked by “the very deep contraction of economic activity” caused by the covid-19 pandemic, uncertainties about growth based on vaccination, alterations in global supply chains, inflationary pressures and the Ukrainian war, income and net wealth, however, grew. The EFF points out that the median income between 2019 and 2021 was 32,400 euros, 1.1% more, while the average income was 43,100 euros, 3.9% more.

Specifically, the EFF asserts, average income reaches its maximum for the group of households between 55 and 64 years old and then decreases for older age groups. Likewise, both mean and median income increase with the level of education. They are substantially higher for “those households whose head of the family has a university education,” the survey states.

Although among the assets that families own and are the basis of their wealth, the habitual residence continues to have a very specific weight, the percentage of families that own it continues to decrease. 71.1% of households own their home in 2022, while in 2020, 73.9% did.

This drop was especially pronounced for households with a head of household under 35 years of age (with a decrease of 4.2 percentage points). Since 2011, the ownership rate among younger households has fallen 37.5 percentage points. 13 years ago, 69.3% of families under 35 years old were homeowners. Today, the percentage remains at 31.8%.

Family debt continues to be a relevant percentage of the value of their assets. Especially for households below the median net wealth, for which it represented 37.8% of the value of their assets while for families as a whole, it represented 9.3% in 2022.

However, the most vulnerable households have reduced the weight of debt on their income considerably. Between 2020 and 2022, this proportion has fallen by 7.4 percentage points while for all families, it has fallen by two points.

The debt-to-income ratio has decreased sharply since 2017, especially among the most vulnerable households. In that year, the median ratio between debt and income in these families was over 230%. In 2022, it remains around 75%.