A majority of the world’s wealth is concentrated in just a few countries. In fact, as Visual Capitalist's Carmen Ang details below, almost a third of household wealth is held by Americans, while China’s population accounts for nearly a fifth.
Using data from Credit Suisse, this graphic by Eleonora Nazander shows the distribution of household wealth worldwide, highlighting the wealth gap that exists across regions.
Top 10 Wealthiest Countries
To help simplify things, this graphic shows how much household wealth each country would have if the world only had $100.
As the graphic illustrates, the top 10 wealthiest countries would hold an estimated $77, or 77% of global household wealth. Here’s a breakdown of what their cut of $100 would be:
The U.S. comes in first place, holding $29.40, or almost a third of total wealth, while China comes in second, accounting for $17.71.
This makes sense considering the high concentration of ultra-wealthy individuals in both countries—China and the U.S. are home to more than half of the world’s billionaires, and eight of the 10 richest people on the planet are Americans, including the world’s richest, Elon Musk.
Japan ranks third on the list, accounting for $6.93. Like the U.S. and China, Japan also has a high portion of ultra-high net worth citizens, or individuals with a net worth of $30 million or more.
Interestingly, India ranks seventh on the list, despite having the third-highest number of billionaires worldwide and a massive population of 1.4 billion. One contributing factor to this could be the country’s relatively high levels of poverty.
It’s important to note that, while the U.S. and China hold a majority of the world’s wealth, both countries still struggle with wealth inequality.
Currently, the top 1% of U.S. households hold 31.7% of the country’s household wealth. And while China has made progress on poverty in the last decade through rapid economic growth, the wealth gap between the country’s rich and poor has widened in recent years.
Governments in both countries have announced plans to tackle wealth inequality. For instance, the Biden administration is working to pass legislation that would increase taxes on businesses and wealthy Americans. Meanwhile, the Chinese government announced its five-year plan to crack down on private enterprise, in an attempt to break up monopolies and ultimately achieve “common prosperity.”