1/2016 Jaanika Meriküll, Tairi Rõõm. The assets, liabilities and wealth of Estonian households: Results of the Household Finance and Consumption Survey

Occasional Paper Series 1/2016

This paper presents the results of the Estonian Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS) that was carried out in 2013. The HFCS is the first comprehensive survey on household assets, liabilities, consumption and financial fragility in Estonia and provides comparative evidence about the financial position of Estonian households compared to the rest of the euro area. It is
shown that: (1) The median net wealth of Estonian households was 43.6 thousand euros in 2013 with 95% confidence bounds
between 39.3 and 47.9 thousand euros; (2) The most important component of wealth is the household main residence, which accounts for 50% of total real and financial assets, while mortgages on the household main residence account for 85% of total debt;
(3) Around one third of households have debt and that debt is concentrated to young and high-income households; (4) The financial
burden of Estonian households is lower than the euro area average, except for low-income indebted households; (5) Wealth
is less equally distributed than income; and (6) The wealth distribution of Estonian households is less equal than the average
across the euro area countries and this stems from large wealth inequalities across Estonian regions.

JEL Codes: D14, D31, E21

Keywords: household finance, Estonia, assets, liabilities, net wealth, financial fragility, income, consumption

Authors’ e-mail addresses: jaanika.merikyll [at] eestipank.ee and tairi.room [at] eestipank.ee.

The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of Eesti Pank or the Eurosystem.