Switzerland found to be the wealthiest country on Earth in new study
The latest Global Wealth Report by UBS has revealed that people in Switzerland are the wealthiest on Earth. In a year that saw average wealth levels decline in all but three countries, the Swiss bank revealed that the alpine nation has weathered the storm better than others.
Global Wealth Report by UBS and Credit Suisse
The Global Wealth Report, run jointly by UBS and sister company Credit Suisse, is designed to analyse the state of the global economy. To create the ranking, the banks look at global wealth statistics from a number of major economies.
These are calculated by finding the total value of financial assets held in each country - like savings, stocks, bonds, insurance, pensions, real estate, consumer goods and other valuable items - and dividing it by the country's population.
Global wealth falls for first time since 2008
In the study, UBS revealed that global wealth declined in 2022, the first time wealth levels have fallen since the 2008 financial crisis. In all, the total amount of private wealth held worldwide fell by 11,3 trillion US dollars last year, with global wealth per adult now averaging 84.718 dollars - 3,6 percent less than the year before.
The biggest losers were wealthy nations in North America, Oceania and Europe. In 2022, mean wealth per person declined the most in Sweden, where the average adult was 69.110 dollars worse off than they were in 2021. New Zealand (-67.420), Australia (-57.660), Canada (-44.320) and the Netherlands (-44.230) also lost big - although it must be said that all these countries are still among the 20 richest in the world.
By contrast, only three countries - the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Norway - grew their wealth per capita in 2022. UBS explained that “the countries that lost substantial wealth in 2022... were often those that made sizeable gains the year before”, and that the instability of the US dollar, rather than domestic policy, is mainly to blame for the decline in global wealth.
Finally, the report noted that overall wealth inequality fell slightly last year, with the global wealth share of the top 1 percent accounting for 44,5 percent of all wealth on Earth.
Switzerland remains the wealthiest nation on Earth
With a mean wealth per adult of 685.230 US dollars, the study found that people in Switzerland were the wealthiest on Earth in 2022. Despite Swiss wealth declining by 13.450 dollars per person compared to 2021, mean wealth levels in the alpine nation were still 133.880 dollars higher than in the United States, the country which placed second.
UBS noted that Switzerland has seen its wealth grow by an average of 5,1 percent a year between 2000 and 2022, the fastest growing rate out of all the DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) countries. Interestingly, alongside having more valuable assets, the study found that individuals in the alpine nation tend to hold larger amounts of debt compared to residents of other German-speaking countries.
However, when it comes to median wealth per adult - a metric that UBS says "favours markets with lower levels of wealth inequality" - the picture changes. In this list, Switzerland placed sixth in the world with 167.350 dollars per adult, 82.000 dollars less than Belgium in first place.
10 richest nations in the world
In all, here are the 10 countries with the highest mean wealth per adult (in US dollars):
- Switzerland (685.230)
- United States (551.350)
- Hong Kong (551.190)
- Australia (496.820)
- Denmark (409.950)
- New Zealand (388.760)
- Norway (385.340)
- Singapore (382.960)
- Canada (369.580)
- The Netherlands (358.230)
For more information about the study, and to see how other nations faired, check out UBS’ website.