Aggregate global wealth rose by $14.0 trillion (4.6 percent) to $317 trillion during the twelve months to mid-2018, outpacing population growth, and wealth per adult grew by 3.2 percent, raising global mean wealth to a record high $63,100 per adult, according to Credit Suisse Research Institute’s 2018 Global Wealth Report.
The report also found that the US contributed most to global wealth, adding $6.3 trillion, taking its total to $98 trillion and continuing its unbroken run of growth in total wealth and wealth per adult since 2008. China is second in the world’s wealth hierarchy, adding $2.3 trillion to take its total to $52 trillion, with a projected addition of $23 trillion in the next five years.
Germany, France and the UK all recorded increases of nearly $1 trillion and Italy and Japan each recorded around $500 billion.
Additionally, non-financial assets have continued their accelerated growth over the past 12 months, providing the main impetus for overall growth in all regions except North America, accounting for 75 percent of the rise in wealth in China and Europe, and all of the rise in India.
The report also examined female wealth, which now accounts for an estimated 40 percent of global wealth, their share having grown considerably during the 20th century, but potentially having stalled since 2000.
Nannette Hechler-Fayd’herbe, global head of investment strategy & research, said: “Although there remains a wealth gap between men and women globally, in some places much more marked than others, that gap has narrowed significantly over the years and is expected to continue doing so as more women access education and participate in the labour market. However, even in the countries where progress is the strongest, challenges remain. More needs to be done to ensure that women have an equal opportunity to build up, inherit and share in wealth.”
Global wealth is projected to rise by nearly 26 percent over the next five years, reaching $399 trillion by 2023. Emerging markets are responsible for 32 percent of the growth, despite accounting for just 21 percent of current wealth.
Anthony Shorrocks, economist and report author, said: “The global distribution of wealth remains largely skewed to North America and Europe, accounting for 60 percent of total household wealth but containing only 17 percent of the world adult population. However, emerging economies are expected to recover from their recent doldrums and to continue to catch up with developed economies over the next five years.
“The last two years have also seen a relative flattening out of the share of the top one percent and 10 percent. Since the global financial crisis, wealth inequality has trended upward, propelled in part by the rising share of financial assets, and a strengthening US dollar. These underlying factors appear to be waning, so it seems more likely that wealth inequality will fall in future rather than rise.”
The ninth edition of the Global Wealth Report is compiled from data on the wealth holdings of 5.0 billion adults across approximately 200 countries – from billionaires in the top echelon to the middle and bottom sections of the wealth pyramid.
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