Australia has highest median wealth in world

Australia has highest median wealth in world

In its 2018 Global Wealth Report Credit Suisse found Australia has the highest level of median wealth of any nation – beating out Switzerland for the top spot.

According to the Australian Financial Review, our wealth is driven by high property prices and large superannuation balances.

Here’s what you need to know.

What drives Australia’s wealth?

The average wealth per Aussie was reported at $US 411,060 ($579,219). This is the second highest average, behind Switzerland. The Head of the Private Bank at Credit Suisse in Australia, Michael Marr, explained the findings.

"Australia continues to be among the wealthiest countries in the world due to our superannuation system, an unprecedented 26 years of continuous economic growth, high real estate prices, the strength of the Australian dollar, and plentiful natural resources,” he said. 

The report went on to say that Australia is likely to get richer, with the number of millionaires set to increase to 1.8 million people in the next 5 years (an increase of 41%).

On a global scale, Credit Suisse predicts 55 million people will be millionaires over the next 5 years, a new record. (We are ranked 10th worldwide for households with a net worth above $US 50 million.)

How is wealth distributed?

Australia reportedly has amongst the most equitable wealth distributions of all developed nations, with around 6% having a net worth below $US 10,000 ($8,462).

This is comparable to the UK, where 18% of the population earns under $US 10,000, and the US, where a significant 28% make less than this amount.

The Report’s median wealth data favours nations, like Australia, with more equitable wealth distribution.

Where is the wealth?

The Chief Investment Officer at Credit Suisse Australia, Andrew McAuley said it’s possible that many Australians don’t feel wealth, because they don’t pay attention to the balance of their superannuation, which is factored into calculations.

"There's been very little real growth in wages and we have seen the costs and necessities go up," he told the Australian Financial Review.

"I think Australians don't pay enough attention to superannuation. They notice their house prices going up and down but they are not factoring in that their superannuation is growing quite nicely and that's what the report captures."

The total amount sitting in Australia’s super funds is $2.7 trillion, and Credit Suisse predicts this figure will double in the next 10 years. (Head here for the full report.)

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Financial Advice Disclaimer: This information is general in nature. Mortgage brokers do not provide financial advice. Clients seeking financial advice will be referred to a qualified financial planner.