From Iceland — Richest 1% Richer Than Before

Richest 1% Richer Than Before

Published December 10, 2020

Photo by
Danny Nicholson

The Icelanders belonging to the richest 1% of the population own a total of 865 billion ISK–close to the annual budget of the entire Icelandic state. This 1% is made up of 242 families. This was reported on by Fréttablaðið, after being stated in the Minister of Finance Bjarni Benediktsson’s answer to a question from Logi Einarsson, chairman of the Samfylking.

The top 5% of Icelandic taxpayers owned more than 40% of the money counted in Iceland last year. Bjarni’s answer explained that according to submitted tax returns, the wealthiest Icelanders have increased their wealth significantly in the last two decades.

However, the answer also emphasised that their equity has increased in proportion with all Icelanders assets–in other words, whilst the rich have definitely got richer, everybody else has got richer, too. At the same time, the portion of money owned by the rich has increased significantly over the past 22 years.

This follows the report published by Statistics Iceland in September this year which revealed that Iceland’s richest 10% own 44% of assets, and MMR’s breaking poll in 2017 which showed that rich people find life fairer than poor people do.

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