Australians Are (Still) The World’s Richest People
— Updated on 4 August 2023

Australians Are (Still) The World’s Richest People

— Updated on 4 August 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

Australians have once again been crowned the world’s richest people based on median net worth by the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report (2022).

Thanks to soaring asset prices, this year’s magic number comes to a nice and round US$273,900, having added US$28,450 to the total between 2020 and 2021. As per Credit Suisse’s annual rankings, we’re followed closely by Belgium (US$267,890) and New Zealand (US$231,260), before the competition drops off a little more considerably with Hong Kong SAR (US$202,380), Denmark (US$171,170), Switzerland (US$168,080), etc.

In terms of mean net worth, we haven’t done too terribly in this regard, either. At US$550,110, we’ve only been beaten by three other countries: Switzerland (US$696,600), the United States (US$579,050), and Hong Kong SAR (US$552,930).

Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2022 - Median Net Worth

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“As in most other high-income countries we review here, disposable income in Australia rose significantly by 4.8% due to pandemic relief payments in 2020,” explained the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report (2022).

“Private consumption, on the other hand, fell by 6.7%. Combined, these trends led to a jump in the household saving rate from 15.6% to 24.9%. The increased saving had a positive effect on financial assets and also led to some repayment of debt.”

Like the creatures of habit we are, property was/is still king around these parts, to the point where it’s a defining point of difference amongst the international sphere.

A bridge over a body of water

According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, over 95% of our country’s housing is owned by households. Compare that to the US and Germany, where the same class of ownership hovers around 80% and 70%, respectively.

“The overall composition of assets or wealth has not changed a great deal in Australia since 2000. The share of financial assets in gross assets was 39.5% in the year 2000 and 39.0% at the end of 2021.”

But considering the domestic property market has been steadily cooling off since March 2021 (valuations are anticipated to decline by as much as 20%), as well as the recent strife we’ve been experiencing with equity markets, don’t be surprised if Australia slips a position or two in Credit Suisse’s next edition.

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Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2022 - Millionaire Population

As for the matter of our millionaire (USD) population, that rarefied demographic within our sunburnt nation has swelled to 2.18 million, which apparently accounts for just 3.5% of the world’s total market share.

Australia came in at #8, beaten by the US (24.48 million), China (6.19 million), Japan (3.37 million), the United Kingdom (2.85 million), France (2.80 million), Germany (2.68 million), and Canada (2.29 million).

Credit Suisse added: “With limited GDP growth and the possibility that asset prices will subside from their peak values at the end of 2021, we foresee a 13 % rise in the number of millionaires in the United States during the next five years compared to a 97% increase (to 12.2 million) for China.

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“We expect little or no change in the millionaire rankings of the countries with the next highest numbers of millionaires: Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada and Australia.”

“However, some nations just below, including Korea, Taiwan (Chinese Taipei), India, and Hong Kong SAR are likely to narrow the gap, particularly India, where the number of millionaires could total 1.6 million in 2026 — more than double the number today.”

Australia’s millionaire population is projected to increase by 35% between now and 2026, bringing the well-heeled headcount to 2.94 million by 2026.

“Looking forward, we remain watchful as to the impact of rising inflation, the inevitable increase in interest rates with the knock-on effect on the valuation of the two principal sources of wealth, housing and financial assets, underpinned by GDP [growth].”

Michael Marr, Credit Suisse Australia’s Head of Wealth Management
Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2022 - UHNW

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Similar to the country’s millionaires, we’re still considered relatively small fish when it comes to our ultra-high net worth population.

At the conclusion of 2021, Australia was where 4,630 one-percenters called home; with an additional 1,350 uber wealthy operators having crossed the US$100 million threshold over the past year.

For reference, when the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report (2022) data was being sourced, there were 84,490 ultra-high net worth individuals, more than half of whom resided in North America.

Check out the complete breakdown below.

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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