Global wealth highest in history despite downturn

espite the financial crisis of 2008 and the difficulties in the Eurozone, global wealth has more than doubled since 2000, reaching over £150 trillion, according to the latest global wealth report from Credit Suisse.

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Economic growth in developing countries and rising populations have played a significant part in the figures. Aggregate total wealth rocketed past the pre-crisis peak in 2010 and has been climbing higher ever since. Average wealth per adult has reached £32,167 after a rise of 4.9 per cent during the year to mid-2013.

Change in household wealth by region 2012-2013:

RegionTotal Wealth 2013 (USD billion)Percentage Change 2012-13
Africa2,7111.2
Asia-Pacific (including China and India)73,879-3.7
Europe76,2547.7
Latin America9,1393.6
North America78,89811.9
World240,8814.9

The countries experiencing the largest wealth gains of over £620bn included the US, Japan, China, Germany and France. The UK came sixth in total wealth gains with over £125bn.

A large part of the gains made in the US were due to rising house prices and a strengthening equity market driving up the Dow Jones. The US increased the global wealth stock by £5.05 trillion, a 54 per cent increase since the downturn of 2008.

Switzerland remains the richest nation in the world, on average, with wealth rising to £319,805 per adult. Australia, Norway and Luxembourg all saw an increase in wealth per adult and retained their respective second, third and fourth places from 2012.

In terms of global distribution, once debts have been subtracted, £2493 in assets will place an adult in the top half of the worlds wealthiest citizens. Wealth of £46,000 is required for an adult to reach the top 10 per cent of global wealth holders, while personal wealth of £469,422 places an adult in the top one per cent.

The report forecasts that wealth will rise by close to 40 per cent in the next five years with emerging markets to increase their share of global wealth to 23 per cent by 2018. China is expected to see household wealth dramatically, growing by 10.1 per cent over the next five years.