Wealth per adult across countries:
The average income per adult: The global figure of USD 63,100 for wealth per adult masks considerable variation across countries and regions, as is evident in Figure 3.
Nations with wealth per adult above USD 100,000 are located in North America, Western Europe, and among the rich Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern countries. Switzerland (USD 530,240), Australia (USD 411,060) and the United States (USD 403,970) again head the league table according to wealth per adult, followed by Belgium (313,050), Norway (291,100), and New Zealand (USD 289,800). Canada (288,260), Denmark (286,710), Singapore (283,260) and France (280,580) occupy the remaining places in the top ten.
The ranking by median wealth per adult favors countries with lower levels of wealth inequality and produces a slightly different table.
This year, Australia (USD 191,450) edged ahead of Switzerland (USD 183,340) into first place according to our estimates. The median wealth placements of Belgium (USD 163,430), Canada (USD 106,340), New Zealand (98,610), the United Kingdom (97,170) and Singapore (USD 91,660) are similar to their mean wealth ranking, but lower inequality moves France (USD 106,830) up five places to fifth position, the Netherlands (USD 114,930) up eight places Figure 3:
World Wealth Map 2018 Source
James Davies, Rodrigo Lluberas and Anthony Shorrocks, Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook 2018 to fourth position, and Japan (USD 103,860) up ten places to seventh position. In contrast, high wealth inequality pushes Norway down seven places, and Denmark down 11 places, while median wealth of just USD 61,670 relegates the United States to 18th place, alongside Austria and Korea. The “intermediate wealth” group in Figure 3 covers countries with mean wealth in the range of USD 25,000–100,000. The core member these days is China.
But the group also includes many recent entrants to the European Union (EU), together with important emerging-market economies in Latin America and the Middle East. One step below, the “frontier wealth” range from USD 5,000– 25,000 per adult covers the largest land surface and most of the heavily populated countries including India, Russia, Brazil, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Turkey. The band also contains most of Latin America, many countries bordering the Mediterranean, and many transition nations outside the EU.
The remaining members of this category include South Africa and other leading sub-Saharan nations, along with several fast-developing Asian countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. This leaves the final group of countries with wealth below USD 5,000, which are heavily concentrated in central Africa and central and south Asia.
Regional distribution of wealth The World Wealth
Map (Figure 3) illustrates the geographical imbalance in the distribution of household wealth. North America and Europe together account for 60% of total household wealth, but contain only 17% of the world adult population.
The total wealth of the two regions was similar at one time, with Europe’s greater population compensating for higher average wealth in North America. However, North America pulled ahead after 2013, and now accounts for 34% of global wealth compared to 27% for Europe.
Elsewhere, the share of wealth is below the population share. The discrepancy is modest in China and in the Asia-Pacific region (excluding China and India), where the population share is about 30% higher than the wealth share. But the population share is more than three times the wealth share in Latin America, nine times the wealth share in India, and 15 times the wealth share in Africa.
Distribution of wealth across individuals
To determine how global wealth is distributed across individuals, rather than regions or countries, we combine our estimates of the level of household wealth across countries with information on the pattern of wealth distribution within countries. A person needs net assets of just USD 4,210 to be among the wealthiest half of world citizens in mid-2018. However, USD 93,170 is required to be a member of the top 10% of global wealth holders, and USD 871,320 to belong to the top 1%.
Assigning individuals to their corresponding global wealth positions enables the regional pattern of wealth to be portrayed. The contrast between China and India is the most striking feature of Figure 4.
Most Chinese adults are found in the upper-middle section of global wealth distribution, where they now account for almost half of worldwide membership of deciles 7–9. China’s record of strong growth this century, combined with rising asset values and currency appreciation, has shifted its median position in Figure 4 toward the right.
China now accounts for 18% of the top decile of global wealth holders, slightly less than the number of residents in the United States (20%), but well above the number in Japan (11%), and a long way ahead of France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom (each 5%), which it overtook in 2010. In contrast, residents of India remain heavily concentrated in the bottom half of the distribution, accounting for more than a quarter of the members. However, the country’s high wealth inequality and immense population mean that India also has a significant number of members in the top wealth echelons.