NewsGermany's shrinking middle class: Concerns over political stability

Germany's shrinking middle class: Concerns over political stability

Nike on the Victory Column in Berlin
Nike on the Victory Column in Berlin
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Jacek Losik

6 July 2024 12:12

The middle class in Germany, as noted in a report by the German economic institute Ifo, "is considered a guarantor of political stability and a stable anchor against political extremism." Meanwhile, recent data published by "Deutsche Welle" indicate that this anchor is shrinking.

"Germans know from their history how tragic the consequences of economic collapse and the resulting social unrest can be. They see a strong middle class as a remedy for the radicalisation of populist slogans," writes "DW," referring to the crisis in the 1930s and the rise to power of the Nazis.

The service points out that in this context, it is worrying that the middle class in Germany has been shrinking for years. The latest data are from 2019, showing that since 2007, the percentage of households belonging to the "Mittelschicht" has dropped from 66 to 63 percent, as indicated in the Ifo report. In 1995, it was 70 percent.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development methodology, middle-class households have incomes per person between 75 and 200 percent of the median wages in the country.

"In the mentioned year 2019, the median wage calculated by statisticians was £20,000 net annually in Germany, approximately £1,670 net monthly," writes dw.com.

"Deutsche Welle" reminds us about living standards and how they depend on many factors, including where one lives. "In Germany, as in other countries, there are huge differences in living costs. For example, in Munich, the average price for renting a flat currently exceeds £18 per square metre (excluding utilities). In Cottbus in Brandenburg, one has to pay just over £5 per square metre," writes the service.

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