Australia One of the World’s Richest Countries, Global Wealth Report Shows

Australia One of the World’s Richest Countries, Global Wealth Report Shows
A general view of housing in the southern suburbs in Sydney, Australia, on May 3, 2022. (Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

Australia is among the richest countries in the world, ranked fifth in terms of household wealth on a country-by-country basis, with average wealth per capita rising above US$50,000, according to a Credit Suisse report.

Australia, which accounts for just 0.33 percent of the global population, ranked fourth in the world for the number of millionaires as well—increasing 35 percent from 2020-2021 to over 2.1 million individuals.

However, this number pales in comparison to the United States, which saw 2.5 million new millionaires in 2021.

The Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report, which delivers comprehensive and up-to-date analyses of global household wealth, also found Australia occupied the first position in median wealth per adult (US$273,900), followed by Belgium and New Zealand, while the U.S fell to 18th place.

“Importantly, a detailed analysis of median wealth within countries and across the world shows that global wealth inequality has fallen this century due to faster growth achieved in emerging markets,” the report said.

“While 2021 was clearly a bumper year for household wealth, the combination of factors creating the favourable environment has repercussions that may be less benign.”

Countries with the highest household wealth are the U.S, China and Canada, while countries with the greatest gains in wealth per adult are New Zealand, the U.S and Australia.

Meanwhile, Switzerland still ranked highest in terms of wealth per adult at US$696,600, followed by the U.S, Hong Kong and Australia.

Despite limited public health impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia suffered economic losses in 2020 due to lockdowns and reduced international trade with GDP falling 2.2 percent but increasing to 4.7 percent in 2021.

While there is a rise in private savings and disposable income in 2020 due to pandemic relief payments, the country saw a small rise in public debt to 59.8 percent of GDP in 2021.

Amid the “buoyant” housing market, no country recorded a decline in house prices in 2021, but large gains were recorded in Australia (31 percent), Saudi Arabia (34 percent) and Turkey (60 percent).

“Significant rises in GDP, combined with vigorous equity and housing markets, are expected to produce sizeable wealth gains at the country level, and this was certainly the case in 2021,” the report noted.

Nina Nguyen is a reporter based in Sydney. She covers Australian news with a focus on social, cultural, and identity issues. She is fluent in Vietnamese. Contact her at [email protected].
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