The Global Wealth Report 2016
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The Global Wealth Report 2016

The 2016 Global Wealth Report has been published by the Credit Suisse Research Institute.

World Wealth Levels, 2016

World Wealth Levels, 2016

Source: Credit Suisse Research Institute, Global Wealth Report 2016

The seventh edition of the Credit Suisse Research Institute's Global Wealth Report confirms a course of the weak global wealth growth. In the past 12 months, global wealth has risen by 3.5 trillion dollars to 256 trillion dollars, which represents an increase of 1.4 percent. However, wealth creation has merely kept pace with population growth. As a result, in 2016, wealth per adult was unchanged for the first time since 2008, at approximately 52,800 dollars. Among the major economies, the USA and Japan were able to generate substantial additional wealth, while the United Kingdom recorded a significant decline as a result of currency depreciation.

Annual Percentage Change in Total Global Wealth, 2000-2016

Annual Percentage Change in Total Global Wealth, 2000-2016

Source: James Davies, Rodrigo Lluberas and Anthony Shorrocks, Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook 2016

Since 2008, the Global Wealth Report has been reporting on gains in global household wealth as being driven by an increase in financial assets. In 2016, there is a shift in this trend, as the share of non-financial assets increased for the first time. In total, 4.9 trillion dollars were added to real assets, compared to a 330 billion dollars rise in financial assets.

The report further establishes that wealth inequality, measured by the share of the wealthiest 1 percent and wealthiest 10 percent of adults, as compared to the rest of the world's adult population, continues to rise. While the bottom half collectively own less than 1 percent of total wealth, the wealthiest top 10 percent own 89 percent of all global assets.

Annual Contribution (%) to Growth of Wealth per Adult by Component, 2000-2016

Annual Contribution (%) to Growth of Wealth per Adult by Component, 2000-2016

Source: James Davies, Rodrigo Lluberas and Anthony Shorrocks, Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook 2016

Moreover, since the beginning of the century, emerging economies have significantly influenced the global allocation of wealth. In 2000, emerging economies accounted for a mere 12 percent of global wealth, but have contributed nearly 25 percent towards global growth since. Today, emerging nations are home to 18 percent of the world's ultra-high net worth population. China alone accounts for 9 percent of the top decile of global wealth holders, which is well above France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

Besides the recurring themes, our 2016 edition of the Global Wealth Report sheds light on the most significant trends at the bottom of the global wealth pyramid. Currently, an estimated 9 percent of adults globally are net debtors, which is without a doubt a worrying development. In our report, we provide insights into the regional composition of this segment, explore structural factors associated with poverty, and estimate the assets owned by the lower wealth segments.

The Global Wealth Pyramid

The Global Wealth Pyramid

Source: James Davies, Rodrigo Lluberas and Anthony Shorrocks, Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook 2016

The 2016 Global Wealth Report also confirms Switzerland's leading position in several important regards. Since the turn of the century, Switzerland has led international tables in terms of average wealth. Furthermore, every year since 2012, wealth per adult has exceeded 500,000 dollars, a threshold not achieved by any other country. From 2001 onward, it has also ranked top in terms of median wealth.

Some of the key findings in Switzerland:

  • In 2016, Switzerland's total household wealth was 3.5 trillion dollars, or 1.4 percent of global assets, while it was home to only 0.1 percent of the world's adults.
  • The Swiss are eleven times wealthier than the average world citizen.
  • To be among the wealthiest 1 percent in Switzerland, a person requires a minimum of 5 million dollars. This is more than twice as much as it was at the turn of the century. 
Wealth per Adult among Major Economies in Mid-2016 (in thousand USD)

Wealth per Adult among Major Economies in Mid-2016 (in thousand USD)

Source: James Davies, Rodrigo Lluberas and Anthony Shorrocks, Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook 2016