Household wealth in Europe - Statistics & Facts

Published by James Cherowbrier, May 20, 2019
Financial assets held by households form an important part of overall wealth in European societies. Household financial holdings comprise various intangible asset types, such as currency, bank deposits with diverse withdrawal terms, investments in equity, stock, bonds and shares, mutual fund investments, and various policies held by household members, such as pension plans and insurance cover.

Currency and deposits form the most readily available type of household assets. In European countries, currency and deposits can form up to 66.25 percent of the total value of assets held by households, as was the case in Greece in 2015. However, in Nordic countries, such as Denmark, Iceland or Sweden, cash and deposits did not exceed 15.5 percent of the total asset value in the same year. In this case, other types of assets play an equally important role in household budgets. For Sweden, stock and other equity investments reached almost 38 percent of total household assets, placing it in third place among European countries in 2015, after Estonia and Finland, in regards to share of equity in total household assets.

Savings constitute an important part of household wealth: among European nations, 81 percent of the Swedish population and 68 percent of British adults owned a savings account in 2016. The value of savings can be based on the gross savings ratio. To calculate this ratio, total savings are divided by total disposable income. Figures differed among the European countries, reaching approximately 16 percent in Sweden and France in 2015. Retirement savings make up a specific part of saving assets; they can be held in government plans, employer plans or individual pension investments.

Investments in tangible objects, such as real estate, gold and other commodities, or vehicles, luxury goods and art, complement financial holdings and play a vital role in long-term household finances. In 2016, the value of dwellings per capita amounted to approximately 66.43 thousand U.S. dollars in France, and 59.6 thousand U.S. dollars in Austria. Taking into account both financial and non-financial components of household assets, the net worth of households per capita can be assessed. In 2016, it reached a value of 155.4 thousand U.S. dollars in Switzerland, and just over 117 thousand U.S. dollars in Belgium.

Assets and wealth of households in Europe

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Household non-financial assets Europe

Savings and retirement savings Europe

Wealth of European population

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