How much do you need to earn to be ‘rich’ in Czechia?

Czechs’ notions of what constitutes wealth have changed considerably in the past five years.

 William Nattrass

Written by William Nattrass Published on 30.03.2022 13:16:00 (updated on 30.03.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

How much do you have to earn to be considered rich in the Czech Republic? With the economy taking a battering in recent years, first as a result of the Covid pandemic and now because of the effects of the war in Ukraine, it’s no surprise that perceptions of wealth have changed dramatically.

Five years ago, you ‘only’ needed to earn CZK 50,000 a month to be considered rich in Czechia. Now, though, a monthly salary of CZK 120,000 or more is required to be seen as a wealthy person, according to a survey by betting company Sazka.

According to recent average wage data, this means only people working in select professions can now be considered rich. Professions with average salaries in the CZK 120,000+ bracket include top company representatives, financial services executives and managers, top IT executives, top healthcare managers, and top marketing and advertising managers.

Various other professions which would previously have exceeded the threshold for perceptions of wealth no longer do so. Those left behind by new ideas about wealth include politicians, industry managers, education managers, and doctors.

Interestingly, Czechs had a much higher salary threshold when compared to average earnings than other countries surveyed by Sazka, suggesting Czechs have particularly high expectations for wealth when compared to the national average income.

“If we compare average monthly incomes, then Czechs and Slovaks need four times the average salary to be considered wealthy, but Finns only need twice the average salary,” said Veronika Diamantová, a spokesperson for Sazka.

This may, in turn, be linked to Czechs' lower purchasing power than people in western and northern Europe. The average salary in the Czech Republic buys you less goods than it does in Finland or Germany; so it follows that proportionally higher earnings are needed in order for a consumer to feel rich.

In terms of total personal assets, notions of what constitutes wealth in Czechia haven’t changed nearly as much, and Czechs still have a much lower wealth threshold than other nations.

Personal property of CZK 10 million and above signifies wealth for almost 60 percent of Czechs. But in the other countries surveyed, an amount ten times higher is required in order for a person to be considered rich: CZK 100 million (or around €4 million).

In one of the survey’s more curious findings, Slovaks have a much higher wealth threshold when it comes to personal property than Czechs.

It’s also suggested that Czechs have different notions about the proper use of wealth. A greater proportion of Czechs would use riches not to pamper themselves, but to provide for their family and future generations.

Meanwhile, Czechs are less likely to stop working if they suddenly become rich, with 70 percent saying they would continue in their jobs.

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“Czechs prefer security; in this they are similar to Germans. Slovaks have a more dynamic character and would use their billions to do business. On the other hand, Finns would be more likely to just enjoy life,” said professional coach Dagmar Mištíková.

It’s clear that when it comes to salary, rising consumer prices and relatively low purchasing power mean Czechs have higher expectations for perceptions of wealth. And though a relatively low level of personal property is still seen as signifying wealth, rising house prices the declining value of savings means this could soon change too.

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