the word wealth refers to the availability by goods, which enrich the life, those rather is recently quantitatively referred to money and property. It designates the abundance from therefore in the meantime rather to valuable articles, in addition, the fact of the possession of material articles. Socially seen wealth requires the generally accepted agreement that things, country or money someone to belong and that this property is protected. The term of the wealth differs in different societies.

The opposite of wealth is the poverty. The appropriate adjective reads richly.

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wealth in Germany

Germany is in the world-wide comparison a very rich country. Between 1960 and 2003 the inflation-adjusted gross domestic product trebled itself approximately. However between 1991 and 2001 it grew billion euro by scarcely 16 per cent of 1710 billion euro on 1980. The financial resources, which private individuals possess, rose in these ten years around approximately 80 per cent, from 2.0 trillion euro 1991 to 3.6 trillion euro 2001.

As indicator for prosperity and wealth fortune is rather still more important than the income. Fortune can serve as security and temporally limited Einkommensausfälle to adjust. The fortunes, particularly the financial resources, are however very unequally distributed. While in the year 2003 the lower half of all households possessed together 3.8 per cent of the total assets, had the upper ten per cent of the households 46,8 per cent of the private fortune in Germany. 1998 still were this relationship about 3,9 to 44.4 per cent (these data from the draft of the second poverty and wealth report of the Federal Government).

Besides a high west east downward gradient of the property distribution exists, whereby the fortune concentration seems to be larger in the new Lands of the Federal Republic than in the old.

The contrast to the private fortune wealth the insolvency of scarcely 2.8 million households and the public indebtedness forms (in the year 2003: 1,326 trillion euro).

wealth in Austria

the private possession in Austria amounted to in the year 2001 approximately 581 billion euro. The richest individual living in Austria is with 5.4 billion euro Karl Friedrich repairs. The richest Austrian is Karl Wlaschek. Beside them there are still 350 humans in Austria, those to rank over 10.9 million euro among its possession can and approximately 28,000 euro-millionaires.

Top earners are in Austria within the ranges private sector, art or also the professionally operated sport. As Bestverdiener Siegfried wolf, chairman of the board of the Magna can with an annual gross income of 3.6 million euro - Austria, to be constituted.

The statistically average Austrian earns approximately 18,750 euro after departure of the taxes per year and the statistically average Austrian approximately 12,270 euro after departure of the taxes per year. These are values for unselbstständig employed person without apprentices from the year 2003. (Source: Statistics Austria, wage tax statistics 2003)

the sociological view of wealth

the anthropology and the sociology describe societies also over its understanding of wealth and over the structures and instruments of power, which use it, in order to protect this wealth. They can be regarded as evolutionary progress. Also the wealth at prestige lending goods can be examined anthropologisch as reason of the Fetischismus.

In cultures like the Christian for Protestant wealth long time applied also as proof for a God probably-obliging/pleasing and therefore recompenced life, a position, which will not no more represent in Europe.

Beyond that the social science observes the accumulation of wealth under the aspect of the distribution of resources and concomitantly the distribution of power. The modern elite sociology, in particular power the Structure Research, regard the wealth development very critically.


  • Wofram Pfreundschuh: The wealth of the civil society, Munich: Culture-scientific publishing house, 2. To Aufl., 1979

see also

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Wiktionary: Wealth - word origin, synonyms and translations
Wikiquote: And illusions spread

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