Household wealth gap widens

30 April, 2024

Courtesy of ICRT


The difference in net wealth between the wealthiest and least wealthy 20% of households has risen four-fold over the past 30 years.


Government data shows the wealthiest 20% of households held 66.9 times more wealth than the bottom 20% as of the end of 2021. That's up four-fold from 16.8 times more wealth in 1991.


At the same time, the Gini coefficient, a measure of inequality, has increased from 0.47 to 0.606.


Average household wealth as of the end of 2021 was at NT$16.38 million while median household wealth was nearly NT$9 million. That's seen as another indication of inequality as the wealthiest households pulled average wealth well above the median value.


However, Taiwan's wealth gap is lower than Australia's, Great Britain's, South Korea's and France's.


In other wealth-related news, a new survey finds that the gender pay gap for newly-employed workers had fallen slightly last year.


The Ministry of Labor announced 2023 salary statistics for new graduates from high school level and above, with their average salary at NT$35,000.


The data also shows that 23% of newly-employed workers start at minimum wage and across industries, the highest starting salaries go to university graduates in the fields of medicine, health, and social welfare, at an average of NT$38,000.


But the ministry survey also finds that the average starting salary for women is NT$34,000, compared to NT$37,000 for men.


Officials say this may be related to the fact that more males are majoring in higher-paying fields such as technology and engineering. The ministry also points out that the gender pay gap for newly-employed workers has narrowed from over 10% in 2022, to 8% in 2024.

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