Max Roser gives an “Overview of Trends of Economic Inequality in Germany“. This is his summarizing interpretation of the data, see also his wonderful chart.
“Has the dispersion of earnings been increasing in recent decades? – Yes, top decile has risen from 150 per cent of median in 1950s to 190 per cent at end of 2000s.
Has overall inequality increased in recent years? – Yes, the Gini coefficient in 2010 was 3 percentage points higher than in 1998.
Have there been periods when overall inequality fell for a sustained period? – Overall inequality (and poverty) fell over the 1960s and 1970s.
Has poverty been falling or rising in recent decades? – Poverty rate increased from 10 per cent to 15 per cent between 1998 and 2010.
Has there been a U-pattern for top income shares over time? – No, top gross income shares were relatively stable over post-war period.
Has the distribution of wealth followed the same pattern as income? – Yes, Gini coefficient of individual wealth fell 10 percentage points from 1973 to 1993 and then began to rise.”