The wealthiest on earth.
The latest Credit-Suisse Global Wealth report says in terms of median wealth, Australia (USD $191,453) has overtaken Switzerland into first place.
Australia’s (mean) wealth per adult in 2018 is USD $411,060, the second-highest in the world after Switzerland.
Household wealth in Australia grew at a fast pace between 2000 and 2012 in US dollar terms, except for a short interruption in 2008. The average annual growth rate of wealth per adult was 12%, with about half due to exchange-rate appreciation against the US dollar. The exchange-rate effect went into reverse for three years after 2012 and, like other resource-rich countries, Australia was badly hit by sagging commodity prices.
Of note, the report states that the composition of household wealth in Australia is heavily skewed toward non-financial assets, which average USD 304,500, and form 60% of gross assets. The high level of real assets partly reflects a large endowment of land and natural resources relative to population, but also results from high property prices in the largest cities. While financial assets are just 40% of total assets, they are also high on average, in part reflecting Australia’s mandatory superannuation system, which generates strong pension wealth. Average debt amounts to 19% of gross assets.
High average wealth is combined with relatively low wealth inequality in Australia.
The Gini coefficient is just 66% and only 6% of Australians have net worth below USD 10,000.
The latter figure compares with 18% in the United Kingdom and 28% in the United States.
The high average wealth boosts representation at high wealth levels, despite the low inequality. The proportion of those with wealth above USD 100,000, at 67%, is the fourth-highest of any country, and about seven times the world average.
With 1,596,000 people in the top 1% of global wealth holders, Australia accounts for 3.2% of this top slice, despite being home to just 0.4% of the world’s adult population.