According to the Ifo Institute, people with middle incomes in Germany are “on the edge of their resilience”. In a European comparison, the middle class in Germany bears the highest tax burden. “With a marginal burden of around 50 percent of gross income in the German tax and transfer system, people with middle incomes effectively only have half of the next euro they earn. Overtime and more work therefore only pay off to a very limited extent in the middle class,” said the Head of the Ifo Center for Macroeconomics and Surveys, Andreas Peichl, in Munich on Monday.

Over 80 percent of Germans assigned themselves to the middle class . In fact, she has shrunk. According to the OECD definition, a good 26 million households and thus 63 percent belonged to the middle class in 2019. Although the decline of two percentage points since 2007 “appears relatively moderate, it is considerable compared to other European countries,” said Ifo researcher Florian Dorn.

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the middle class includes those who have between 75 and 200 percent of the median income. For single people, this corresponded to a disposable net income including transfers of between 17,475 and 46,600 euros in 2019. Statistically, couples with two children belong to the middle class if they have an income between 36,698 and 97,860 euros. The study was carried out by the Ifo Institute on behalf of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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