In today’s topic, we will research which the wealthiest countries in the world ranked by financial assets are.
There are a lot of ways and criteria by which we could be looking for the richest country in the world or list the top 100 richest countries in the world. One of those could be done by GDP for example (as you can check out at 25 Richest Countries in the World by 2017 GDP). Then we could look for the richest governments in the world, where we would find USA, China, Germany, Japan, France, and the UK among the top, according to CIA World Factbook. Other rankings could be based on a physical property such as natural resources, and you can check out the research we have already done on this matter in 15 Richest Countries in the World by Natural Resources.
So, unlike natural resources, financial assets do not represent a physical property (although might be in the form of cash for example). They are rather referred to as “liquid assets” meaning their value depends on a contractual claim. Examples of financial assets are cash as we have already put, varieties of contractual rights, share certificates, stocks, bonds, bank deposits, insurance policies and pension funds, or equity stakes.
According to the publication by World Bank, actually, in most countries the largest share of wealth comes from the intangible capital, in which category we also can put financial assets as well. For example, these are the foreign financial assets, “When a country receives interest on the foreign bonds it owns, this boosts consumption and hence total wealth and the intangible capital residual” as stated in the cited publication.
Since 2015 the financial asset growth was +4.7%; the global growth of financial assets in 2017 reached a peak of +7.1% being at record EUR 169.2 trillion. The most growth of financial assets per capita has been accomplished in Asia with 11% (mostly because of Chinese economic expansion and the growth of financial assets by 30% in 2016), followed by Eastern Europe and Latin America with 5%. On the other hand, North America and Europe have shown much lower figures, 2.1%, and 1.4% respectively since 2006.
That is a normal situation, having substantial assets in wealthier countries already existing, so it is to be expected that the financial assets would grow slower in these countries. And also, looking at the global financial share, it is to be expected that wealthier regions have the most. Hence, the North American region has 45% of global financial assets share, followed by Asia with 28.1% and Western Europe with 20% share, while Latin America and Eastern Europe for example, are way behind with only 2% and 1.4% of financial assets share respectively.
So, we have been researching for some statistics and figures in order to make a decent overview of the wealthiest countries in the world by financial assets. Allianz had made a raking of global financial assets per capita which was the main source for our research in order to find out which the wealthiest countries in the world by financial assets are. The data comes from 2017 and represents the most comprehensive and uniform data, given in EUR values. That was also the information we have provided on our list.
Had we been making the list of countries by net worth situation might have been quite little different than what you will see further on our today’s list. So for example, according to total net worth, at the first place here would be the USA, followed by China, Japan, UK, and Germany. And naturally, here it might seem legit to ask is China the richest country in the world, or actually is it on a good way to become that since it has been developing very rapidly lately in every sense, but let’s put this discussion for another time.
Now, focusing on the wealthiest countries in the world ranked by financial assets, let’s see which they are:
Net per capita financial assets in EUR: 54,530
Although being among the wealthiest countries in the world ranked by net per capita financial assets, Italy has only seen 0.3% financial asset growth which is way below the Western European average of 4.7% in 2016.
Net per capita financial assets in EUR: 56,040
France has seen faster financial asset growth than the Western European average, being 5.5% in 2016, due to insurance and pension assets.
Net per capita financial assets in EUR: 67,390
Australia together with New Zealand has 2.2% of global financial assets share. Nevertheless, the Australian household debt is very high, having the ration of debts to incomes 188.8% (2016 data), or around EUR 65,620.
Net per capita financial assets in EUR: 73,330
Israel had 6.9% of gross household financial asset growth in 2017. Also, looking at the gross per capita financial assets, Israel is way higher than the global average (of EUR 70,060) being EUR 92,000. But even looking at net per capita financial assets, Israel still takes a high place among the wealthiest countries in the world.
Net per capita financial assets in EUR: 81,590
Together with other Scandinavian countries, Denmark also has a high percentage of household debts which represents around 30% population having higher liabilities than financial assets, which represents around EUR 64, 900 per capita, putting Denmark among the top countries with highest private per capita debts.
Net per capita financial assets in EUR: 84,080
The UK was on the third place in the financial assets in 2015, and now it had moved for as much as 8 places on the list, but nevertheless remains among the wealthiest countries in the world ranked by financial assets.
10. New Zealand
Net per capita financial assets in EUR: 86,030
Although being among the top wealthiest countries in the world ranked by financial assets, New Zealand has a high level of household debts as well as Australia as we have seen. The debt growth in 2017 was 8.2%, which is the highest percentage since 2007 which is around EUR 27,630 per capita.
Net per capita financial assets in EUR: 87,580
Canada and the US hold the most of global financial assets, as we have seen 46% of it being among the top wealthiest countries in the world ranked by financial assets. Considering Canada, the most growth has been observed in securities class, by 13.8% in 2016 compared to the previous year.
8. The Netherlands
Net per capita financial assets in EUR: 87,980
Compared to 2015, the Netherlands moved for three places behind on the list of the wealthiest countries in the world ranked by net per capita financial assets. Nevertheless, the private assets growth in this country was 6.3% in 2017, which is mostly because of the high growth of insurance and pension assets.
Net per capita financial assets in EUR: 89,570
Singapore is now the third wealthiest Asian country ranked by financial assets. Net financial assets of households in Singapore has risen for 9.6% in the last year which is the fastest growth rate seen in recent years.
Net per capita financial assets in EUR: 92,080
Belgium is among the European richest countries by household financial assets, and also among the wealthiest countries in the world ranked by financial assets, having leaped by 4 places since 2015. Also, the ratio of liabilities to gross assets is among the lowest in Belgium, being around 20.2%.
Net per capita financial assets in EUR: 92,360
Taiwan had leaped from the 10th place in 2015 to the 5th in 2017 in net per capita financial assets. The sum of EUR 92,080 is 9.6% higher than the last year. Nevertheless, the liabilities are still a bit higher than the global (of EUR 17,490) being EUR 18,945.
Net per capita financial assets in EUR: 95,050
Being among the wealthiest countries in the world ranked by financial assets, Sweden (and Norway on this matter) is also among the highly indebted countries. Around 30% of the population has higher liabilities than financial assets. Anyway, the asset growth in Sweden has been 7.4%, which is much higher compared to the Western Europe region in general, as we have seen.
Net per capita financial assets in EUR: 96,720
Although currently on the third place in the world by net per capita financial assets, Japan is way behind the two leading countries on this matter as we will see further by almost the double the figure. The majority of Japanese financial assets lie in bank deposits. Anyway, Japanese financial assets are growing lately, which can be seen from the fact that Japan leaped from 8th place in 2015 to 3rd in 2017, and the figure of 6.8% rise of average household financial assets in 2017.
Net per capita financial assets in EUR: 175,720
You may be surprised to see that Switzerland is not at the top of the wealthiest countries in the world, at least according to the net per capita financial assets. Though, if we would take a look at the gross per capita financial assets, it would still top the world with EUR 268,840. Anyway, the household debt in Switzerland continues to grow by 3.4% annually.
Net per capita financial assets in EUR: 177,210
From the second place according to the net per capita financial assets in 2015 (with 138,714 EUR of financial assets per capita), in 2017 the USA took the first place on the global ranking of the wealthiest countries in the world ranked by financial assets (with growth of 5.8% of net per capita financial assets).