Sunday

26th Mar 2017

Ireland down, Poland up in EU wealth count

  • Not all EU citizens are equally wealthy (Photo: Images Money)

Fresh statitsics have highlighted the wealth gap in the EU, with Luxembourg and Bulgaria at either extreme of the divide and Ireland and the Baltic states sliding down the scale.

GDP per capita varied by a factor of more than six to one across the EU in 2010, Euorstat, the bloc's statistical office, said on Tuesday (13 December), describing the situation as "quite remarkable."

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Luxembourg came out on top again, with levels of wealth more than two and a half times the EU average.

The numbers count foreign residents employed in the country who contribute to its overall wealth but who are not counted in the resident population, however.

The consumption level of Luxembourgers - deemed by Eurostat to be "a more suitable indicator of households' actual standard of living" - is also the highest in Europe and one half more than that of the EU average.

The Netherlands is second from the top, with a GDP per capita a third higher than the EU norm. But non-EU countries Norway and Switzerland beat the Dutch.

The Irish, who enjoy wealth levels not much lower than those of Dutch people despite being the subject of EU and International Monetary Fund-imposed austerity, came third. Nevertheless, the Eurostat note added that there is "a clear downward trend" in Ireland compared to the start of the financial crisis in 2008.

The same "very substantial decline" was noted in the Baltic countries (which placed well below the EU average) and in EU candidate Iceland.

Poland, the fifth poorest in the EU as things stand, "shows clear improvement" however.

Bulgaria and Romania lie at the bottom of the ranking, scoring worse than incoming EU member Croatia and EU candidate Turkey, but better than the other former Yugoslav republics.

Opinion

EU may have seen last days of carefree wealth

If it had had the opportunity would the European Parliament have behaved differently to the US Congress, asks Peter Sain ley Berry? When its big chance came with the Tobin Tax proposals in 2000, it ducked them.

SMEs lack support in EU financial plan

The European Commission's plan for a capital markets union is said to be aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises, but many could end up being left out in the cold.

Eurozone chief in 'drinks and women' row

[Updated] The Netherlands' Jeroen Dijsselbloem faces calls for resignation after saying that crisis-hit countries in southern Europe spent "money on drinks and women" before being helped by others.

Stolen Russian billions ended up in EU states

Illicit money flowing out of Russia ended up in almost every single EU state, an investigation has found, posing questions on the integrity of Europe’s banking systems.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Gaming & Betting Association60 Years Rome Treaty – 60 Years Building an Internal Market
  2. Malta EU 2017New EU Rules to Prevent Terrorism and Give More Rights to Victims Approved
  3. European Jewish Congress"Extremists Still Have Ability and Motivation to Murder in Europe" Says EJC President
  4. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAudiovisual Media Services Directive to Exclude Minors from Gambling Ads
  5. ILGA-EuropeTime for a Reality Check on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  6. UNICEFHuman Cost to Refugee and Migrant Children Mounts Up One Year After EU-Turkey Deal
  7. Malta EU 2017Council Adopts New Rules to Improve Safety of Medical Devices
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Research: How to Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy
  9. Party of European SocialistsWe Must Renew Europe for All Europeans
  10. MEP Tomáš ZdechovskýThe European Commission Has Failed in Its Fight Against Food Waste
  11. ILGA-EuropeEP Recognises Discrimination Faced by Trans & Intersex People
  12. Nordic Council of Ministers25 Nordic Bioeconomy Cases for Sustainable Change