The distribution of global wealth in 2011

11/10/11 9:51

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A unique comprehensive study on global wealth for 2011 has been published in late October by the Credit Suisse Research Institute, which analyses the unequal distribution of global wealth, totaling $ 230.8 trillion amongst the world’s 4.5 billion adult population.

According to the data in the research of global wealth -defined as the net of financial and non-financial (largely property) assets, less debt- there are many factors that directly or indirectly affect the evolution of household wealth, including property rights and other institutional considerations, the maturity of financial markets and financial instruments and the extent to which public provision of retirement pensions and medical treatment mitigates the need for private accumulation.

Despite the global economic crisis, starting in 2007, the global household wealth has, according to the study, increased by $ 117 trillion between 2000 and 2011, mainly because the share of emerging markets continued to rise on a steady pace, as well as the rapid increase in world population. Based on the analysis of the data, it is estimated that the total household wealth may increase by 50% over the next five years, from about 231 trillion U.S. dollars in 2011 to 345 trillion in 2016, equivalent to 8.4 percent growth per year.

Furthermore, according to the same estimates, China will replace Japan as the second wealthiest country in the world with total household wealth of $ 39 trillion in 2016, compared to 31 trillion US dollars for Japan. The US is expected to maintain its supremacy in the wealth ranking, with a projected total household wealth of 82 trillion US dollars. Well behind in fourth and fifth places are France and Germany with 20.1 trillion US dollars and 19.6 trillion US dollars, respectively.

Finally, over the next five years, a big improvement in the position of emerging economies is anticipated. Wealth in both China and Africa as a whole is projected to rise by over 90%, but India and Brazil are forecast to perform even better, with personal wealth more than doubling by 2016.

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