Data feature

Poor Federal state, rich Federal state?

Last Sunday was the state election in Saxony-Anhalt, for many a barometer of the mood for the federal election in September. 


The election results were also observed in faraway countries: Ticker reports on the Bloomberg TV stock exchange channel from New York City late on Sunday evening, for example, included the news that voting had taken place in Germany's poorest Federal state ("poorest state"). Is that so? 



What does the Nexiga purchasing power data say about this?

Purchasing power of the federal states

Geographical regions or entire countries are often described with sweeping statements. These are not necessarily wrong, but on closer inspection the real world out there is always much more differentiated. This is why we also "break down" the world into micro-geographical units, down to Building level if necessary.


So is Saxony-Anhalt really the "poorest" Federal state? If we want to determine this solely on the basis of the purchasing power of the population - which would be a plausible approach - our data shows that Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has a slightly lower value overall. Saxony-Anhalt would therefore be the second poorest Federal state. Our map (PDF) provides an overview of the current purchasing power of the federal states.


But what does "poor" really mean? Both federal states belong to the so-called territorial states, i.e. they are not city states where industry and services are concentrated. They have a low population density, partly due to migration to other regions. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, for example, has only around 69 inhabitants per square kilometer (Germany approx. 233). However, it is precisely these rather sparsely populated regions with still affordable housing and a lower overall cost of living that tend to be increasingly attractive for many city-dwellers - provided the infrastructure is right, not least a good internet connection.


But as I said, these two federal states should not be described in such general terms anyway. The city of Halle (Saale) is part of the booming Leipzig-Halle economic region. A little to the north lies the Central German chemical triangle with Merseburg and Bitterfeld and the corresponding added value and many investments, including from abroad. And along the beautiful Baltic coast, there is a diversified industry and service sector, particularly in the tourism sector.

Interactive purchasing power map

Our interactive purchasing power map provides an up-to-date overview of the current, forecast purchasing power per Municipality for 2021, which is a good 11,000 units in Germany. At a glance, you can also see the top 25 municipalities that clearly outperform the average value per Municipality (index value = 100 or EUR 23,861 per inhabitant).


This is the general purchasing power, which corresponds to the disposable income and is recorded at the place of residence of the income recipient. It is made up of income from employed and self-employed work, from agriculture and forestry, from renting and leasing, from assets and from transfer payments such as pensions, Hartz IV, unemployment benefits I and II, social benefits, child benefit, benefits for education and participation, housing benefit, BAföG, etc. Statutory social contributions and taxes paid were eliminated.


In addition to this general purchasing power, there are also specific indicators, e.g. relating to the retail sector (purchasing power retention) and for a wide range of products such as clothing, furniture or sporting goods.

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