Swiss are world's wealthiest individuals

Swiss household wealth dropped in 2001 and 2002 and has crept steadily upward ever since Keystone

Although average individual wealth in the country dropped by 13 per cent since last year, the Swiss remain the wealthiest people in the world, according to the annual Global Wealth Report from Credit Suisse.

This content was published on October 11, 2012 minutes and agencies

The high value of the franc played a significant role in launching the Swiss to the top of the wealth index, according to the study, “propelling net worth per adult in Switzerland to unprecedented levels when measured in US dollars.”

The average wealth per inhabitant, as measured by the study, was $468,000 (SFr439,874), and has more than doubled since the year 2000 when measured in dollars. When measured in Swiss francs, household wealth dropped in 2001 and 2002 and has crept steadily upward ever since, though less dramatically.

Eight of the ten richest countries suffered drops in personal wealth ranging from four to 17 per cent, and only Japan and the US saw slight gains of one per cent each. This drop in average wealth across many western countries is attributed to the eurozone crisis, low interest rates and a general wariness on the part of investors.

For the first time, Asia emerged as the world’s wealthiest region overall, with $7.1 trillion in net household income. Europe took the biggest hit on regional wealth over the year ending June 30, experiencing a 14 per cent decline in net wealth of $69.3 trillion.

Three countries from the Asia-Pacific region were among the ten wealthiest nations: Australia, in second place with average individual wealth of $354,986; Japan, with $269,708; and Singapore, with $258,117.

Other European countries in the top ten include Norway, Luxembourg, France, Britain and Sweden.

The world's wealthiest

The following countries placed in the top ten for average individual wealth in the 2012 Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report. The study measured global wealth between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012.

1. Switzerland: $468,186 per person

2. Australia: $354,986 per person

3. Norway: 325,989 per person

4. Luxembourg: $277,119 per person

5. Japan: $269,708 per person

6. France: $265,463 per person

7. US: $262,351 per person

8. Singapore: $258,117 per person

9. Britain: $250,005 per person

10.  Sweden: $237,297 per person

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