Household wealth grew during the pandemic

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

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
14 May 2024 Tuesday 11:19
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Household wealth grew during the pandemic

Economic inequality between households in Spain decreased between 2020 and 2022, according to the Bank of Spain's Family Financial Survey (EFF), which analyzes income, wealth, assets, liabilities and spending of Spanish households. Thus, although the top 10% of families in the country had 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. It is the first time since 2008 that this share 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 risen, which had fallen since 2008", emphasized Ángel Gavilán, Director General of Economics and Statistics of the Bank of Spain in the presentation of the report

All groups of households (from the richest to the least) saw their wealth increase in the period, although the most vulnerable and the most well-off groups saw the greatest increase. The most vulnerable households saw their net wealth triple, although far from the 2011 figures.

In the period of the pandemic, marked by "a very deep contraction of economic activity", income and net wealth increased. The improvement came despite what covid entailed with vaccination uncertainties, disruptions to global supply chains and inflationary pressures and, subsequently, the war in Ukraine. The survey indicates 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, according to the report, the average income reaches its maximum for the group of citizens between 55 and 64 years of age and then decreases for the older age groups. Likewise, both the average and the median income increase with the level of education. They are substantially greater for "those households whose head of the family has a university degree", says the survey.

Household debt remains a significant percentage of the value of their assets. Especially for households below the median net wealth, for which it accounted for 37.8% of the value of their assets, while for families as a whole it represented 9.3% in 2022.

However, the most vulnerable families have reduced the burden 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 fallen sharply since 2017, especially among the most vulnerable households. That year, the average debt-to-income ratio in those families soared above 230%. In 2022, it remained at around 75%.