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Wealth gap widens as richest 10 percent owns nearly half of all wealth in Finland

Capital income accrues to the richest people in Finland at a faster rate than those with fewer assets.

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Home ownership is one of the most important symbols of financial stability for Finnish residents. Image: AOP

New figures from Statistics Finland show that while income differences have remained steady, the wealth gap is growing. In 2016 the richest ten percent of Finnish households owned some 47 percent of all net wealth.

That figure is up from 2013, when the wealthiest decile had some 45 percent of all assets.

Pensioners are among the wealthiest in Finland, with the 65-74 age cohort Finland's richest. Their net wealth averaged just over 200,000 euros. The overall median net wealth of Finnish residents was 107,200 euros.

That's down from 110,000 euros in 2013.

The survey showed that the value of 41 percent of households held investment funds or shares, and that the value of investments had risen by 15 percent since the previous survey in 2013.

By contrast the average value of property had stagnated, explaining the slight decrease in net wealth for the average Finn.

The total housing debt rose 3.5 percent from 2013, further denting ordinary people's ability to accumulate wealth. That's a significant hit, as people in Finland remain keen to put the majority of their assets into property: some two out of every three people in Finland owns their own home.

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