People are getting richer despite world economic problems

15 October 2013

Global wealth is at an all-time high at USD 241 trillion, and the average person has become richer despite the fluctuating world economy post 2008 financial meltdown.

According to the latest report by the leading Swiss bank, Credit Suisse, each adult in the world is now worth an average USD 51,600 and the global wealth has increased by 4.9%, with US accounting for 72% of the rise. However, the average figure does not present a clear picture of the gap between the high earners and the low earners.

The report also predicts the global wealth to increase by nearly 40% in the next five years, with emerging countries set to make the biggest contribution, 29%. The number of middle income earners is expected to swell and the world will see many more new millionaires during this period.

Increasing wealth

This is the first time average individual wealth has crossed the USD 50,000 mark since 2007. While North America and Europe still lead the race for regions with highest average wealth, the average wealth in Asia-Pacific region has also seen a sizeable increase. Wealth accumulation has slowed down in some sectors of emerging markets – while Mexico’s average wealth has increased, Brazil and Russia haven’t fared well. Comparatively wealth in India and China has seen a trend towards even distribution.

Flowing wealth

The report’s focus on wealth mobility highlighted the fact that fortunes ebb and flow. Less than two-thirds of the Forbes billionaires in 2001 remained in the list by 2005, and this number halved by the end of the decade. Even after bearing the brunt of the 2008 economic meltdown, US has emerged as the nation with most number of millionaires and multi-millionaires in the world – around 45% of the total millionaire population of the world resides here.

The Credit Suisse report is considered to be a comprehensive study of world wealth because it encompasses a broad spectrum of income levels across nations – from the lowest to the highest earners. Read the full report here:

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