Swiss are world’s wealthiest – and most indebted

Net financial assets of people living in Switzerland averaged €157,450 (CHF171,600) in 2014 Keystone

Swiss residents are still the wealthiest people in the world on a per capita basis, according to a report by insurer Allianz. But they also have the highest per capita debt in the world. 

This content was published on September 29, 2015 - 15:09 with agencies

According the 2015 Allianz Global Wealth Report published on Tuesday, net financial assets per Swiss resident averaged €157,450 (CHF171,600) in 2014 - a 5.8% increase on the previous year. 

Switzerland was ahead of second-place United States, where net per capita financial assets rose 4.2% to €138,710. Next come the British with €86,230. Switzerland has topped the ranking since 2000.

While Swiss residents are among the world’s top savers, they also have the highest private debt level, averaging €80,000 per person. Debt as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) remained high in 2014 at 122% compared to Germany (55%) and Austria (51%).

Allianz also highlighted growing inequalities within countries by using the Gini coefficient - a measure of income distribution of nations’ residents where zero is perfect equality and one (or 100%) is maximal inequality. Income inequalities are greatest in the US (80.6%), with Switzerland (61.2) doing better than neighbours Germany (73.3) and Austria (73.6). However, the Gini ratio has increased in Switzerland by three points over the past decade, Allianz reported.

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