The Swiss Have The Highest Per Capita Wealth In The World

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Oct 31, 2023 - 08:15 AM

When looking at wealth per person on a country-by-country basis, is it more important to look at median wealth or average wealth?

Many experts believe that median wealth provides the most accurate picture of wealth since it identifies the middle point of a dataset, with half of the data points above this number, and half falling below it. In this way, it is less impacted by extreme values, and gives a good representation of the “middle of the pack”.

With that said, average wealth gives you a true average, even though it may get distorted by outliers, like the fortunes held by billionaires.

Either way, using data from the 2023 UBS Global Wealth Report, Visual Capitalist's Dorothy Neufeld created the following graphic comparing both average and median wealth across select countries,

Top Countries by Average Wealth per Person

In 2022, global average wealth per adult stood at $84,718.

By these measures, Switzerland ranks at the top at $685,226 per person. Over 15% of the population are millionaires, the third-highest rate in the world. However, when looking at median wealth per person, it stands at $167,353, a difference of over $517,000.

Like Switzerland, five of the top 10 countries by average wealth are in Western Europe, including Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

The table below shows average wealth per adult in 2022 across 39 countries analyzed by UBS:

RankCountryMean Wealth per Adult
1🇨🇭 Switzerland$685,226
2🇺🇸 U.S.$551,347
3🇦🇺 Australia$496,819
4🇩🇰 Denmark$409,954
5🇳🇿 New Zealand$388,761
6🇳🇴 Norway$385,338
7🇸🇬 Singapore$382,957
8🇨🇦 Canada$369,577
9🇳🇱 Netherlands$358,235
10🇧🇪 Belgium$352,814
11🇫🇷 France$312,235
12🇬🇧 UK$302,783
13🇸🇪 Sweden$296,800
14🇹🇼 Taiwan$273,788
15🇩🇪 Germany$256,179
16🇮🇪 Ireland$247,080
17🇦🇹 Austria$245,225
18🇮🇱 Israel$235,445
19🇰🇷 South Korea$230,760
20🇪🇸 Spain$224,209
21🇮🇹 Italy$221,370
22🇯🇵 Japan$216,078
23🇫🇮 Finland$179,986
24🇵🇹 Portugal$158,840
25🇬🇷 Greece$105,724
26🇨🇿 Czechia$90,393
27🇨🇳 China$75,731
28🇭🇺 Hungary$59,348
29🇲🇽 Mexico$55,274
30🇨🇱 Chile$54,082
31🇵🇱 Poland$52,741
32🇷🇴 Romania$44,320
33🇷🇺 Russia$39,514
34🇹🇭 Thailand$25,956
35🇿🇦 South Africa$23,956
36🇹🇷 Türkiye$17,578
37🇮🇩 Indonesia$17,457
38🇮🇳 India$16,500
39🇨🇴 Colombia$15,464

The U.S. falls second, with a mean wealth per adult of $551,347.

Overall, it is home to 38% of global millionaires, outpacing the second-highest country, China, by more than three times. With a significant wealth gap, income inequality in the U.S. is among the highest across developed nations.

Ranking seventh is Singapore, with the highest average wealth per adult across Asia. Income inequality in Singapore falls at a similar level to America based on its Gini ratio.

Top Countries by Median Wealth per Person

Here’s how wealth shifts when looking from a median wealth per adult basis:

RankCountryMedian Wealth per Adult
1🇧🇪 Belgium$249,937
2🇦🇺 Australia$247,453
3🇳🇿 New Zealand$193,065
4🇩🇰 Denmark$186,041
5🇨🇭 Switzerland$167,353
6🇬🇧 UK$151,825
7🇳🇴 Norway$143,887
8🇨🇦 Canada$137,633
9🇫🇷 France$133,137
10🇳🇱 Netherlands$112,450
11🇹🇼 Taiwan$108,247
12🇺🇸 U.S.$107,739
13🇪🇸 Spain$107,507
14🇮🇹 Italy$107,315
15🇯🇵 Japan$103,681
16🇸🇬 Singapore$99,488
17🇰🇷 South Korea$92,719
18🇮🇪 Ireland$90,741
19🇫🇮 Finland$84,093
20🇮🇱 Israel$77,604
21🇸🇪 Sweden$77,515
22🇵🇹 Portugal$70,409
23🇦🇹 Austria$68,492
24🇩🇪 Germany$66,735
25🇬🇷 Greece$53,501
26🇨🇳 China$27,273
27🇭🇺 Hungary$26,416
28🇨🇿 Czechia$23,502
29🇷🇴 Romania$21,545
30🇵🇱 Poland$20,263
31🇨🇱 Chile$19,544
32🇲🇽 Mexico$18,920
33🇹🇭 Thailand$9,602
34🇷🇺 Russia$8,595
35🇹🇷 Türkiye$5,488
36🇿🇦 South Africa$5,141
37🇮🇩 Indonesia$4,819
38🇨🇴 Colombia$4,450
39🇮🇳 India$3,755

Belgium ranks the highest, climbing past Australia for the first time. High home ownership levels and elevated home prices have led household wealth to rise above other European countries.

Median wealth in the U.S. stood at $107,739, falling in 12th place.

Overall, median wealth has grown the fastest in China, increasing eightfold since 2000 to reach $27,273. The country’s rapid economic growth has lifted many into the middle class, yet wealth inequality has also increased.

Biggest Gaps in Average and Median Wealth

Which countries have the starkest difference between average and median wealth per adult?

Across the dataset, the U.S. saw the steepest gap. Median wealth per adult was $107,739—80.5% lower than average wealth levels. This means that wealth ownership skews disproportionately to the country’s richest.

Following the U.S. were South Africa, Russia, and India for illustrating the widest disparities between average and median wealth.

On the other end of the spectrum was Belgium, where median wealth per adult was the closest to average wealth levels. In this way, median wealth per person was $249,937 while average wealth was $352,814, reflecting less disparity.

Other countries with narrower gaps between median and average wealth per person included Greece, the UK, and Australia.