Australia tops world’s wealthiest list

A robust property market has ensured that Australians, on average, remain the world’s richest people, a new study has found.

The annual Global Wealth Report, from investment banking giant Credit Suisse, found that Australia was well ahead of the pack in terms of median wealth per adult, with the average local worth about $US225,000 ($257,500). This number easily surpassed number two Belgium, with $US173,000. Rounding out the top five were Italy, France and the UK.

However, Australia dipped to second on the more general wealth per adult reading, with Switzerland topping the table due to its greater income inequality. The local wealth per adult figure is $US431,000, well shy of Switzerland’s $US581,000.

Driving the high level of assets for Australians was a strong property market, with house prices climbing 8 per cent last year, comfortably above the global average of 2.4 per cent.

“The composition of household wealth in Australia is heavily skewed towards real assets, which averaged $US319,700 and form 60 per cent of gross household assets,” the report said.

“This average level of real assets is the second highest in the world after Norway. In part, it reflects a large endowment of land and natural resources relative to population, but it is also a result of high urban real estate prices.”

The study also discovered that Australia housed the greatest percentage of people with wealth above $US100,000 as well as a low number with wealth below $US10,000, at just 6 per cent. This figure was markedly better than a 29 per cent reading in the US and a 70 per cent result for the world as a whole.


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