A notable example of equitable wealth distribution

Malta represents a more equitable economic landscape within Europe, where the gulf between the rich and the poor is not as pronounced.

Malta emerges as a notable example of equitable wealth distribution within Europe, boasting the third-lowest level of wealth inequality with a Gini coefficient of 60.9, closely trailing Slovakia and Belgium. The Gini coefficient is a measure used to represent the income or wealth distribution of a nation’s residents, helping to gauge economic inequality.

This was highlighted in a recent Euronews report, which delved into the issue of wealth disparities across the globe, including Europe, where the richest 10% hold a substantial 67% of the continent’s wealth, in stark contrast to the mere 1.2% held by the bottom half of the adult population.

Euronews refers to The Global Wealth Report 2023, published by Credit Suisse and UBS, which reveals the wide variance in wealth distribution across 36 European countries, with inequality levels ranging from Slovakia’s low of 50.8 to Sweden’s high of 87.4 on the Gini coefficient scale. This scale is used to measure the inequality of wealth distribution, where a higher coefficient indicates greater inequality, and a value of 0 represents perfect equality.

Key factors contributing to these disparities include differences in tax regimes and homeownership rates. Wealth, defined as the total financial and real assets (primarily housing) owned by households minus their debts, showcases significant discrepancies in its distribution, particularly among the continent’s wealthiest.

Eszter Sándor and Dr Carlos Vacas‑Soriano, who are research managers at Eurofound, highlight asset composition as a crucial element influencing wealth disparity across Europe. Particularly, the variance in home ownership rates among countries emerges as a significant driver of wealth distribution disparities.

The researchers have observed that nations with elevated home ownership levels, such as Malta, usually exhibit reduced wealth inequality. Conversely, countries where residents have greater access to diverse financial assets experience higher levels of wealth disparity, as reported to Euronews Business.

Furthermore, Sándor and Vacas‑Soriano point out the significance of voluntary pensions and life insurance in the landscape of wealth inequality. They note that in western European countries, individuals tend to have a better opportunity to save for retirement. This advantage is attributed to higher incomes and more accessible voluntary retirement savings options compared to those available in eastern and southern Europe.

With Sweden having the highest inequality within its wealthiest decile, Malta’s comparative position underscores a significantly more balanced wealth distribution. Along with countries like Belgium and Slovenia, Malta represents a more equitable economic landscape within Europe, where the gulf between the rich and the poor is not as pronounced, according to the analysis of available data from 21 European countries.

The findings of the Global Wealth Report 2023 align with recent articles in The Journal, which suggested widespread wealth growth across Malta, particularly evident in rising bank deposits.

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