World′s private assets double in over a decade | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 09.10.2013
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World's private assets double in over a decade

The personal fortune of people in many parts of the world has gone up considerably since the year 2000. A study by Credit Suisse showed average wealth levels were highest in Switzerland, with Australia a close second.

Assets owned by individuals globally were now worth about twice as much as back in the year 2000, the latest Global Wealth Report by Credit Suisse revealed Wednesday. It said private fortunes now amounted to a combined value of $241 trillion (177.5 trillion euros), with a 4.9-percent increase between mid-2012 and mid 2013.

The study cited Switzerland as the nation with the highest level of private assets per adult, with every eligible citizen statistically owning an average of $513,000, followed by Australians with an average fortune of $403,000. Third place is held by the Norwegians, owning $380,000 on average.

Credit Suisse said the value of real estate property was also counted, with overall calculations being based on statistical data provided by central banks and financial players.

Grave imbalance

The report highlighted that nations worst hit by the global financial crisis had rebounded strongly in the past five years. The star performer was the US, which accounted for almost three quarters of the lift in global wealth.

But the study also revealed that wealth remained unevenly spread across regions and continents.

According to estimates, an adult would need to own just $4000 to belong to the affluent half of the global population, and about $753,000 to belong to the 10 percent of the world's richest people.

By contrast, the other, poor half of the world's population together only accounts for less than 1 percent of overall individual assets.