What is it to be rich? “A Wife and Children”replied Grand Corps Malade cautiously. “The best things in life are free”, sang Janet Jackson. One thing is certain, wealth is a subjective reality depending on one’s way of life, relationships, age, education… It is therefore difficult to define wealth as the definition of material wealth depends on each person’s criteria.
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3,700 net per month
This has not prevented certain institutions such as the Observatory of Inequalities in France from trying to set a wealth threshold. According to the independent body, one can be considered rich from €3,673 per month after taxes with our neighbours. As for couples (with two dependent children), the wealth threshold is set at €7,713 net monthly. These results are obtained by doubling the median income, that is to say the threshold which divides the population in two, one earning more and the other less.
If you earn that amount, you are richer than 93% of the population. The wealth threshold thus defined, there would be 4.5 million rich people in France, or 7.1% of the population. Louis Morin, the director of the Observatory of Inequalities, however tempers: “This threshold must be discussed taking into account the place of life, age, or even the combination with heritage”. He adds : “Being rich at 25 does not have the same meaning as at 45, living on 3,700 euros a month is not the same when you live in Paris or Charleville-Mézières”.
In terms of wealth, the Observatory considers that a household is wealthy if it has more than €490,000 in wealth, i.e. three times the amount of median wealth in France. And if we had to draw the composite portrait of the rich person, she would be the owner, aged 57, would live in Ile-de-France and would be a senior executive, liberal, business manager, craftsman or tradesman.
The median salary in Belgium
According to Statbel, the average gross monthly salary of a full-time Belgian employee was €3,027. Today it is €3,758. The median salary has risen from €2,639 to €3,486. As a reminder, the median salary corresponds to what half of the population earns at most. That is, 50% earn less than €3,486.
Still according to this government report, the two extremes of the population win:
– Less than €2,295 gross monthly for the poorest
– More than €5,886 for the richest
More than 1% of Belgians are millionaires
Finally, the 2022 edition of the World Wealth Report counts 141,000 millionaires in Belgium, or just over one percent of the population. So there are 7,000 new millionaires this year… but 47,000 new poor. Indeed, in 2021, 19.3% of the population (i.e. 2.1 million Belgians) was at risk of poverty, slightly more than in 2020.
According to a study conducted by Knight Frank, you need to have a little more than 2 million euros to be part of the club of the 1% of the richest Belgians. In France, you must have 1.8 million and 1.7 million in Germany. At the top of the ranking, we find Monaco and Switzerland for which it is necessary to hold respectively 6.6 and 4.3 million euros to be part of the 1% of the wealthiest people. If you want to belong to the category of the 0.1% of the richest inhabitants of the planet, the threshold reaches more than 5.6 million euros in Belgium.
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