Here’s why Australians are once again the wealthiest nation in the world

We know true wealth is much more than how much money you’ve got in the bank or how many properties you own, but this year’s Credit Suisse’s annual global wealth report shows that once again Australians have the highest median wealth in the world, and we have a very low percentage of poor people.Moneyy

The report shows that since 2000, the net wealth of the average adult Australian has more than quadrupled, and over the past 12 months average adult wealth has grown 5 per cent.

In fact 7.35 per cent of all adults (1.25 million of us) are US-dollar millionaires if you include real estate and financial assets into the equation.

But what is exceptional about Australia is our 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$430,777 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$225,000 (AU$258,000).

Now median is the better measure as it shows the spread of our wealth and is not skewed by the very

Let me explain…

Imagine you’re at a crowded bar and Jamie Packer walks in. The average wealth of the crowd soars but the median stays much the same.

Packer’s presence drags up the average wealth but does little to change the median – that is the wealth of the middle person if you lined up everyone in the bar from richest to poorest.

In other words our high median shows that wealth is spread more evenly than in other countries. When it comes to wealth distribution, most Australians (62.6%) had wealth between US$100,000 and US$1 million.

Having said that 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.

Only 6% of Australians had a net worth of under $10,000 – a very low proportion by global standards (29% in the USA and 70% for the world as a whole.)

Here’s some more interesting numbers:

World wide stats:

  • If you have US $3,650 net, including the value of your home, you’re among the wealthiest half of the people in the world.
  • The average person is worth $56,
  • Global wealth grew by 8.3% over the last year, its fastest rate ever.
  • Over the past 12 months, the world got $20.1 trillion richer to $263 trillion.
  • The top 10pc of people (membership requirement is US$77,000 ) hold 87% of the world’s wealth.
  • You need US$798,000 to make it into the top percentile of the world’s wealthiest. This select group accounts for almost half – 48.2% – of global assets.
  • Taken together, the bottom half of the global population own less than 1% of total wealth.
  • By 2019, global wealth is expected to be 40% higher.
  • In five years, the number of millionaires will have increased by half, from 35million to 53million.

Australian stats:

  • Mean worth per adult: $US430,000.
  • Median worth per adult: $US 225,337.
  • Total wealth $7.2 trillion
  • Dollar millionaires: 1,252,000
  • Top 10% of global wealth holders: 12,650,000
  • Top 1% of global wealth holders: 1,783,000
  • The top 1% of wealthy people in Australia owned 21% of assets and the top 5% owned 39%. (By comparison, the world average is that the top 1% per cent own around 50% of the assets.)

Source: Credit Suisse

And a lot has to do with property.

The Credit Suisse Wealth Report showed that Australia’s wealth is heavily skewed towards ‘real assets’ (in other words property) as opposed to financial ones.

Australians on average have 60 per cent of their assets in property, versus the world average of 46 per cent, and the USA at 30 per cent.

The bottom line:

We live in a lucky country and it’s important not to forget it.

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And the good news is that things are unlikely to change with the report predicting Australia will keep it’s top spot on the wealth chart until at least the end of this decade.

Even better news …

Australians can also expect to live longer than almost everyone else. The most recent UN data shows life expectancy at birth in Australia has reached 82.5 years – the fourth longest in the world behind Japan (83.6), Hong Kong (83.4) and Switzerland (82.6).

But these achievements haven’t made us the world’s happiest place. The latest U.N. World Happiness Report, published by the UN’s Sustainable, ranked Australia 10th.

Are you grabbing your share of wealth?

Here’s what you can do about this…

If you’re looking for independent property investment advice to help you become financially independent, no one can help you quite like the independent property investment strategists at Metropole.

Remember the multi award winning team of property investment strategists at Metropole have no properties on the market to sell, so their advice is unbiased.

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned property investor, we would love to help you formulate an investment strategy or do a review of your existing portfolio, and help you take your property investment to the next level.

Please click here to organise a time for a chat.

Or call us on 1300 20 30 30.

When you attend our offices in Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane you will receive a free copy of my latest 2 x DVD program Building Wealth through Property Investment in the new Economy valued at $49.


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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and one of Australia's 50 most influential Thought Leaders. His opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit

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