Australians world’s wealthiest people per capita

Canberra, Oct 9: Australians are the wealthiest people in the world per capita on a median basis, according to a report released Wednesday by Zurich-based bank Credit Suisse.

The Credit Suisse 2013 Global Wealth Report shows that Australia’s wealth is also more evenly distributed across the population.

The report also finds that Australian people have a well above-average reliance on real estate which forms 59 percent of gross household assets. That’s second only to Norway.

According to the report, Australia’s mean wealth per adult is just over $400,000 each, second only to Switzerland, and that there are 1.12 million people in Australia classed as US dollar millionaires, an increase of 38,000, although that number includes all net assets including housing and superannuation.

The median wealth figure of Australia is $219,505 per person, the highest in the world.

Median wealth is the midpoint between richest and poorest whereas the mean wealth is the average of all.

The fact that Australia tops the median number is a reflection of the fact that Australian wealth is more equally distributed than in some other countries such as Switzerland, said David McDonald, Credit Suisse Private Banking’s chief investment strategist for Australia.

“The top 10 percent of Australians own 50 percent of the wealth, ” he said, “which compares with the top 10 percent around the world owning an average of 86 percent and the top 10 percent in the US owning 74 percent.”

The report, compiled out of Europe, said that there are 1.76 million Australians who are in the top 1 percent of global wealth holders, accounting for 3.8 percent of that group despite Australia having only 0.4 percent of the world’s adult population.