Am i really poor

Online calculator: How poor or rich are you compared to Austria?

Vacation pay, repayment from the tax office or family allowance on the partner's account can distort the picture: Not every Austrian knows how much money is available to their own household each month.

It is even more difficult to assess where you stand in the distribution of income. Because statisticians have a complex method of measuring the standard of living. With the new STANDARD online calculator in cooperation with the Economic Research Institute (Wifo), users can find out how they fare in a comparison of Austria.

For the first time, users can also compare groups based on socio-demographic characteristics such as education, origin, age or family composition. From experience reports from our previous income calculator, we know that many underestimate their relative standard of living. They also?

To find out how your standard of living compares to Austria, simply follow the instructions in our calculator. No data is saved or evaluated. If you want to learn more about the calculation, read on below.

Social decline for single parents

The comparison of incomes sometimes reveals which role the welfare state plays and which social groups have to make the greatest compromises.

For example: A woman living alone with a monthly net income of 2,149 euros is exactly in the middle of the distribution: half of Austrians have a higher standard of living, the other a lower one. If the woman had a child she raised alone with the same income, more than 70 percent of all households would have a higher standard of living.

Household income shows what actually ends up in the account and in the purse. A special feature: economists add fictitious rents (after deducting operating costs) to people who live in their own home as income. Any loan installments that are used to finance the home are in turn deducted. In this way, an essential asset that ensures that a household has more money to spend can be carried over into the calculation of income.

To calculate the standard of living, but also the national poverty threshold, economists use the so-called (household) equivalised income. The number and age of the people in the household are taken into account. If you live as a couple, you are better off than two singles, even if they all deserve the same. After all, a couple doesn't need two washing machines, two TVs and twice as much living space. However, children generally reduce the standard of living, especially since they do not generate their own income - with the exception of YouTube stars.

Natascha and Gilbert in parallel universes

The following fictitious calculation example shows how strongly the relative standard of living fluctuates. The life situation shown always refers to figures from 2017.

1. Single student, household income 1,300 euros

Natascha (19) could hardly wait. She moved from home, a rural community in Upper Austria, to study English in Vienna. The excitement about the new independence triumphs mostly over the homesickness. But she is not quite able to stand on her own two feet. Her parents transfer the family allowance and the family bonus (around 300 euros) as well as an extra three hundred every month. In addition to her studies, Natascha works as a waitress at a schnitzel inn and gives tutoring in English. This means she can make ends meet in the dormitory, but with her monthly income of 1,300 euros, she is only just above the poverty line.

  • 85 percent the Austrian population have a higher standard of living
  • 81 percent the under 25s have a higher standard of living

2. Young professional, household income 1,800 euros

Natascha (24) doesn't get very far with English studies alone. That is why she completed her teaching degree in German in addition to her language studies. She swapped the room in the dormitory for a two-room apartment in an affordable location - the 600 euros rent is still under your skin. Natascha now teaches at a new middle school. She has not yet been able to get hold of a full teaching commitment. She is satisfied with her net salary of 1,600 euros a month (calculated twelve times a year), thanks to tutoring she has a monthly income of 1,800 euros. This means that their standard of living is roughly in the middle of tenants in Austria.

  • 65 percent the Austrian population have a higher standard of living
  • 47 percent the Tenant have a higher standard of living

3. Two incomes, household income 5,800 euros

Gilbert and Natascha (30) fell in love. She moves into the programmer's inherited 75-square-meter apartment before the wedding. Natascha now earns 2,500 euros at school. Gilbert is self-employed and has the same income. They are also better off in the income statistics because a fictitious net rent of 800 euros is added to household income. In addition: Anyone who speaks of poverty is looking at what is known as household equivalised income. This also includes the number and age of the residents. The childless couple is in the top ten percent of all households and in the top 20 percent of households without children.

  • 9 percent the Austrian population have a higher standard of living.
  • 14 percent the childless partner have a higher standard of living.

4. Two children, household income 4,600 euros

The twins Paul and June rob their parents of sleep, the apartment is tight. Natascha (36) inherited a savings account with 20,000 euros in the previous year, which in fact does not yield anything. The parents take turns on parental leave. Gilbert is currently at home with the little ones. The family receives around 2,000 euros a month in childcare allowance. In addition, there is family allowance and child tax credit of almost 400 euros. Natascha has given up a class and now earns 2,200 euros. In the income statistics, the family falls in the middle of all households. The savings book, for example, is not taken into account for household income. The cost to the children reduces the standard of living.

  • 48 percent the Austrian population have a higher standard of living.
  • 39 percent the Partner with child have a higher standard of living.

5. House in the country, household income 4,800 euros

Natascha (42) convinced Gilbert to rent a single-family house in the neighboring community of her parents, where the little ones can run out and Natascha has a part-time job. Gilbert also accepts financial cuts. Together they earn 3650 euros net. The Viennese apartment generates rental income of 750 euros after deducting operating costs. The state continues to transfer around 400 euros a month to family support. A total of 4,800 euros per month land in the account. This results in an equivalent income of 2,286 euros. The family is now above the middle of rural incomes (in communities with less than 100,000 inhabitants) and is richer than 60 percent of all city dwellers.

  • 44 percent the Austrian population have a higher standard of living.
  • 45 percent the Rural dwellers have a higher standard of living.

6. Until retirement, household income 6,960 euros

The two have to get used to the peace and quiet. The twins moved to the Vienna apartment to study. The rent no longer applies, but Natascha (53) and Gilbert have since bought the house. Natascha added hours to school again, Gilbert now has a small company with two employees. Together they earn 6,000 euros net per month. The state provides around 460 euros in family allowances. The home comes with a fictitious rent of 500 euros after deducting the loan installments. The couple is in the top five percent. In the pension her income drops to 5,000 euros. Compared to people over 65, they are still in the top quarter.

  • 4 percent the Austrian population have a higher standard of living.
  • 8 percent the 50 to 64 year olds have a higher standard of living.

(Leopold Stefan, Sebastian Kienzl, November 9, 2019)