Based on one estimate, Australians continue to be the richest people in the world.
The median wealth of Australia, as per the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2013, is the highest in the world at US$219,505. The median, which represents the midway point between the highest and lowest, signifies that half of the country has more wealth than the amount listed and the rest less. As for average wealth per individual, Australia fares well on that list too. The average wealth of an Australian is US$402,578, coming in second to the Swiss who have an average wealth of US$513,000.
Having the highest median wealth figures indicates Australia has a better distribution of wealth than other countries. While the top 10 per cent in Australia owns 50 per cent of the wealth, globally the top 10 per cent owns 86 per cent of total wealth and in the US the top 10 per cent owns 74 per cent.
Interestingly, despite making up only 0.4% of the world’s adult population, Australians comprise about 3.8 % of the top 1% of global wealth holders. In keeping with our much better wealth distribution and average wealth, more Australians own higher than USD100,000 than people in any other county – at roughly eight times the global average.
Real estate accounts for much of our wealth. While globally real estate constitutes approximately 45 per cent of net wealth, in Australia this figure is about 59 per cent, second only to Norway. This can be due to a combination of factors, including low population, with vast, resourceful land providing ample endowment opportunities, along with high urban real estate prices.
While the above figures certainly present a positive outlook on our finances, there is also data to suggest a cautionary approach. For while globally wealth increased on average by about 4.5 per cent last year, the increase here was only 2.6 per cent.