Cows bells chimed in sadness across the land of banking last month at the terrible news that the United States is now the richest country in the world, toppling the Alpine country of Switzerland from their traditional top spot. The news comes with the publication of the latest Global Wealth Report, prepared by Allianz.
It’s the first time that the United States has topped the list, although Allianz acknowledged that the North American powerhouse’s lead is thinner than a slice of Gruyère, propped up partly by a strong dollar in 2016.
Don’t shed any tears for the poor Swiss however as Switzerland’s net per capita financial assets stood at 175,720 euros after growing by 2.7 percent, while the US pipped it, growing by an impressive 5.8 percent to 177, 210 euros. Both countries tower over the earnings of Japan, in a distant third at €96,890, followed by Sweden and Taiwan who round out the top five.
There remains some solace for the Swiss as they retained their title for gross per capita financial assets, the US coming second this time round. But amongst this wealth is an enormous amount of debt as Switzerland also topped (by around 30,000 euros per capita) the list of Western European countries in the red, the amount increasing by an average of 3.4 percent per year.
Interestingly, the report also nodded to another great winner: the already rich and wealthy. Allianz noted that “the world as a whole is still a long way from a ‘fair’ distribution of wealth”. They found that ten percent of the richest own around 79 percent of the net financial assets. That’s quite a result, for the rich at least.