Australians the world’s wealthiest

Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2011Despite the doom and gloom, there are reasons to be cheerful. As measured by median wealth levels, Australians are the wealthiest people in the world, says the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2011, which measured the wealth of the world’s 4.5 billion adults.

It found Australia’s median wealth, the mid-point between the wealthiest adult and poorest, was $US222,000 ($213,800), the highest in the world.Average wealth was $US397,000, the world’s second-highest after Switzerland with $US540,000.It is the median figure that is more meaningful because it says more about how a country’s middle class is doing.

Wealth in Australia is more evenly distributed than in other countries, particularly compared to the US, which has median wealth of about $US53,000.As Credit Suisse measured wealth in US dollars, the strength of the Aussie dollar has helped push Australia up the rankings.But even after removing the currency affects, Australia’s performance has been robust, particularly since 2000, the report says. The report also says Australian wealth is highly skewed towards real estate assets. – SMH