Australia Leads World On Wealth

Posted on 29/10/2018  
Australia Leads World On Wealth

The typical Australian is richer than the typical person in any other country in the world, according to a new survey.

Australia has seized from Switzerland the global title of having the highest "median wealth per adult", in Credit Suisse's 2018 Global Wealth Report.

Not only are Australians relatively rich by global standards, our wealth is more evenly distributed across the population than many other countries, the report finds.

Wealth is defined in the report as the sum of all assets, including residential property, deposits, shares and super, minus all debts – a concept otherwise known as “net worth”.

The results show that if every Australian adult lined up in a row, the middle person would have a net worth of $US191,453 – about $270,000 Australian.

That puts us slightly ahead of the middle Swiss adult's net worth of $US183,339.

Switzerland retains, however, its dominance over the global ranking for average wealth per adult - which it has topped every year since the survey began in 2000. The net worth of the average Swiss adult is $US530,240. Australia comes in second place with an average wealth per adult of $US411,060 (almost $580,000 Australian).

Australia is not short on millionaires either – at least in US dollar terms. The property boom in Sydney and Melbourne and system of compulsory super has helped 1,288,000 Aussies become US dollar millionaires. To be a US dollar millionaire, you actually need to have $1.4 million Australian, meaning there are even more Aussie dollar millionaires.

Credit Suisse is tipping the number of Australian US dollar millionaires to rise by 41% to 1,814,000 by 2023. If so, we’d leapfrog Italy to go from being the 9th biggest cluster of US dollar millionaires in the world, to the 8th.

Australia is also home to the 10th biggest cluster of “ultra-high net worth” individuals in the world – people who have accumulated more than $US50 million ($70 million).

Globally, there are 149,890 such fortunate individuals, of whom 70,540 call America home. Australia is home to 2,910.

The CEO of Credit Suisse Australia, John Knox, says the report shows Australia's economic fundamentals are strong. “We are fortunate to live in a country where we are not just very wealthy, but also that our wealth inequality is much lower than other developed countries," Knox says.

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