Tuesday, December 15, 2015 - 15:30
Richest 1% now hold 29 percent of Dutch assets
The top 1 percent richest people in the Netherlands saw their wealth grow by 23 billion euros last year, resulting in them currently holding 28.8 percent of all Dutch assets, the Volkskrant reports based on their own calculations of preliminary figures received from Statistics Netherlands using the so-called Piketty method. At the beginning of 2013 the 75 thousand richest Dutch possessed 27.6 percent of the private wealth of the Netherlands, according to the definite figures. This includes stocks, bank- and savings accounts, houses and other possessions. The middle classes had very little private wealth and those on the bottom of the wealth pyramid had more debt than assets. According to Peter Hein van Mulligen, chief economist at Statistics Netherlands, if you use a more technical calculation method than the Piketty, the asset inequality among wealth classes did not increase any further in 2014. He called it a "relatively large disparity in power" which stabilized after four years of increasing, according to the newspaper. He attributes this to the fact that house prices, which dropped significantly during the financial crisis, stabilized last year. Statistics Netherlands also attributes the recent years' growth in the wealth gap to falling house prices during the crisis. Nearly 60 percent of households have their own homes. When the house prices fell, wealthy households were relatively unaffected because they also have savings and shares.