EU Statistics on Wealth

According to the European Union’s statistics office Eurostat, Luxembourg is the richest country in the EU in terms of gross domestic product per capita. They are more than six times more affluent than Bulgaria, the poorest member of the EU.

Wealth in Luxembourg

Luxembourg’s wealth is, in part, due to the many people from France, Germany and Belgium who work there, while living in their own countries. This allows them to contribute to the GDP without actually counting as part of the division of wealth.

The second richest country is the Netherlands and Denmark, Ireland and Austria were third.

Surprises

The largest surprise in these statistics was Ireland. While they used to be the second richest in the EU, they have fallen sharply with their banking crises and with real estate market issues.

Greece has, similarly, seen a sharp decline with their economic woes, moving to 89 PPS in 2010 from 94 in 2008 and 2009.

Weighing in with the Least

The least wealthy countries remain central and eastern Europe, with Romania as the second poorest and Latva as the third. Lithuania is the fourth poorest and the area’s biggest country while Poland was the fifth poorest.

The numbers are based on a standard called the Purchasing Power Standard (PPS) which is an artificial currency unit that manages to take out the price level differences between countries. It enables statisticians to create meaningful volume comparisons of economic factors across different countries.

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