We know true wealth is much more than how much money you’ve got or how many properties you own but this year’s Credit Suisse’s annual global wealth report, which was released last week, shows that Australians have the highest median wealth in the world, and we have the a very low percentage of poor people.
The report shows Australians have the highest median wealth in the world, with average household wealth having grown an incredible 13% a year since 2000.
Despite the setback of the Global Financial Crisis, generally the world has done well since 2000 with global wealth doubling.
But what is special about Australia is its staggering growth in wealth considering we’re a developed nation, as emerging markets mainly drove the global growth in wealth.
So how wealthy are we?
Australia’s average wealth per adult is US$402,600 (AU$426,100), which is the second-highest in the world after Switzerland.
However Australia’s median wealth (the wealth of the middle wealthiest person in Australia) is the highest in the world, at US$219,500 (AU$233,504).
The proportion of those with wealth above US$ 100,000 is the highest of any country – eight times the world average. With 1,762,000 people in the top 1% of global wealth holders, Australia accounts for 3.8% of this wealthy group, despite having just 0.4% of the world’s adult population.
When it comes to wealth distribution, most Australians (62.6%) had wealth between US$100,000 and US$1 million.
Only 6.9% of Australians had a net worth of under $10,000 – a very low proportion by global standards.
And it has a lot to do with property.
Australia’s wealth is heavily skewed towards ‘real assets’ (in other words property) as opposed to financial ones. Australians have the second-highest real asset allocation in the world, behind Norway, with most of our wealth being stored in our homes.
What else is driving Australia’s wealth?
Credit Suisse explains that half of our wealth growth has been driven by the appreciation of the Australian dollar which has made Australian assets relatively more valuable compared to those of other countries when converted into a common currency.[sam id=37 codes=’true’]
Also our Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) system also plays its part. We have relatively low student loan debt, which means people start their working lives without being thousands of dollars in the red, as happens in many other parts of the world.
Australia also has relatively low credit-card debt.
It’s just another reminder that we live in the best country in the world, and never forget that in this lucky country anyone can make it into the BRW Rich 200 list. It seems to have nothing to do with your education, your country of birth or your parents.