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The Best and Worst Performing Wealth Markets in the Last 10 Years

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global wealth markets 2019

The Best and Worst Performing Wealth Markets

A lot can change in a decade.

Ten years ago, the collapse of Lehman Brothers sent the world’s financial markets into a tailspin, a catalyst for years of economic uncertainty.

At the same time, China’s robust GDP growth was reaching a fever pitch. The country was turning into a wealth creation machine, creating millions of newly-minted millionaires who would end up having a huge impact on wealth markets around the world.

The Ups and Downs of Wealth Markets (2008-2018)

Today’s graphic, using data from the Global Wealth Migration Review, looks at national wealth markets, and how they’ve changed since 2008.

Each wealth market is calculated from the sum of individual assets within the jurisdiction, accounting for the value of cash, property, equity, and business interests owned by people in the country. Just like other kinds of markets, wealth can grow or shrink over time.

Here are a few countries and regions that stand out in the report:

Developing Asian Economies
In terms of sheer wealth growth, nothing comes close to countries like China and India. The size of these markets, combined with rapid economic growth, have resulted in triple-digit gains over the last 10 years.

For the world’s two most populous countries, it’s a trend that is expected to continue into the next decade, despite the fact that many millionaire residents are migrating to different jurisdictions.

Mediterranean Malaise
European nations saw very little growth over the past decade, but the Mediterranean region was particularly hard-hit. In fact, eight of the 20 worst performing wealth markets over the last decade are located along the Mediterranean coast:

Rank (Out of 90)Country% Growth (2008-2018)
89🇬🇷 Greece-37%
87🇨🇾 Cyprus-21%
86🇮🇹 Italy-14%
85🇪🇸 Spain-13%
84🇹🇷 Turkey-11%
82🇪🇬 Egypt-10%
80🇫🇷 France-7%
76🇭🇷 Croatia-6%

European Bright Spots
There were some bright spots in Europe during this same time period. Malta, Ireland, and Monaco all achieved positive wealth growth at rates higher than 30% over the last 10 years.

Australia
While it’s expected to see rapidly-growing economies as prolific producers of wealth, it is much more surprising when mature markets perform so strongly. Singapore and New Zealand fall under that category, as does Australia, which was already a large, mature wealth market.

Australia recently surpassed both Canada and France to become the seventh largest wealth market in the world, and last year alone, over 12,000 millionaires migrated there.

Venezuela
The long-term economic slide of Venezuela has been well documented, and it comes as no surprise that the country saw extreme contraction of wealth over the last decade. Since war-torn countries are not included in the report, Venezuela ranked 90th, which is dead-last on a global basis.

Short Term, Long Term

In 2018, global wealth actually slumped by 5%, dropping from $215 trillion to $204 trillion.

All 90 countries tracked by the report experienced negative growth in wealth, as global stock and property markets dipped. Here’s a look at the wealth markets that were the hardest hit over the past year:

Wealth MarketWealth growth (2017 -2018)
🇻🇪 Venezuela-25%
🇹🇷 Turkey-23%
🇦🇷 Argentina-20%
🇵🇰 Pakistan-15%
🇦🇴 Angola-15%
🇺🇦 Ukraine-13%
🇫🇷 France-12%
🇷🇺 Russia-12%
🇮🇷 Iran-12%
🇶🇦 Qatar-12%

The future outlook is rosier. Global wealth is expected to rise by 43% over the next decade, reaching $291 trillion by 2028. If current trends play out as expected, Vietnam could likely top this list a decade from now with a staggering 200% growth rate.

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Ranked: The Largest Gold Reserves, by Country

The U.S. holds the world’s largest gold reserves, totaling 8,133 tonnes. This graphic showcases the top 11 gold reserves by country.

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Bar chart showing Top 11 Countries by Gold Reserves

Ranked: The Largest Gold Reserves, by Country

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Gold remains an important store of value, serving as a hedge and retaining value during economic crises. In 2023, amid uncertainty about US interest rates and continued geopolitical risks, the metal once again demonstrated its importance by hitting a new record in December.

This graphic, by Sam Parker, displays the top 11 countries by gold reserves as of September 2023, based on data from Central Banks, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Gold Council.

Central Bank Gold Demand

Most of the world’s gold is stored in various locations, including central bank vaults, private depositories, and jewelry holdings.

Countries maintain gold reserves for various reasons.

Firstly, gold serves as a stable and dependable store of value, enhancing confidence in a nation’s economic stability, especially during times of financial uncertainty.

Additionally, despite the waning relevance of the gold standard, some countries still deem gold reserves crucial for maintaining currency stability.

Moreover, gold’s tangibility enables countries to diversify their overall portfolio. Currently, almost one-fifth of all the gold ever mined is held by central banks.

The U.S. boasts the world’s largest gold reserves, with 8,133 tonnes stored in 12 Federal Reserve Banks across the country:

CountryTonnes of Gold
🇺🇸 USA8,133 t
🇩🇪 Germany3,353 t
🇮🇹 Italy2,452 t
🇫🇷 France2,437 t
🇷🇺 Russia2,333 t
🇨🇳 China2,192 t
🇨🇭 Switzerland1,040 t
🇯🇵 Japan847 t
🇮🇳 India801 t
🇳🇱 Netherlands612 t
🇹🇷 Turkey479 t

Russia and China—arguably the United States’ top geopolitical rivals—have been the largest gold buyers over the last two decades. The People’s Bank of China was the biggest buyer of gold last year, purchasing 225 tonnes.

Seven of the top countries by gold reserves are also among the top 10 biggest economies.

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