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Indebted Dutch households at risk

The European Central Bank (ECB) has published the results of its first Eurosystem Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS), revealing that indebted Dutch households have the highest debt-to-income ratio in the eurozone.

The Survey

The HFCS analysed data from individual households across 15 euro area countries, collecting from over 62.000 sources. The assets, liabilities and income of each household were recorded in order to assess the ability of the demographics to respond to financial instability.

The data recorded from the majority of countries was from 2010, however the data from the Netherlands is from 2009.

Core eurozone countries less wealthy

A surprising fact to emerge from the survey was that the average net wealth of countries on the fringes of the European elite was higher than the more traditional powers. Even the more accurate median net household wealth revealed similar disparities.

The Netherlands' median net wealth lies at 103.600, well below that of Spain at 182.700 and Cyprus at 266.900, despite both countries experiencing the effects of the financial crisis much more strongly than the Netherlands. However, the survey does qualify these findings with the effects of household composition and the number of home owners in each country.

In Cyprus, for example, the number of adults per household is relatively high, thus pushing the net household wealth upwards.

Germany, the powerhouse behind the eurozone in recent years, has the lowest median net household wealth at just 51.400, but the survey qualifies this with the low numbers of home owners in the country.

Dutch debt

One of the more startling figures from the Netherlands is that the debt-to-income ratio for Dutch households is the highest in the survey. Although this takes in only households currently in debt, it suggests that it will be quite a struggle for Dutch households to emerge from their debt burdens.

Source: ECB

Mark

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Mark McDaid

Mark hails from the Emerald Isle but has been living in the land of cheese and deep-fried-indiscriminate-meat since February 2009. He can often be found trying to read through a...

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