Switzerland still world’s richest country: study
Switzerland has maintained its position as the richest country in the world, according to the Allianz Global Wealth Report 2011, which estimates Swiss residents’ personal wealth at almost €207,400 (250,113 francs, $286,215).
That is an increase of 15 percent on the year before as Switzerland “benefited from the considerable gains made by the Swiss franc against the euro,“ the study said.
The authors said Switzerland’s ranking also derived from strong capital funding related to its pension system.
Second on the rich list is the United States, though average per capita financial assets at the end of 2010 were just over half of those in Switzerland.
Japan, Denmark and the Netherlands are also in the top five richest countries. The group of high wealth countries remained unchanged.
Although Americans do not enjoy the highest levels of personal wealth, North America remains the world’s richest region. About 40 percent of global financial assets can be attributed to about 350 million inhabitants in Canada and the US.
American savings have fallen by 8.4 percent since the financial crisis, which partly explains why the Swiss have more personal wealth.
Swiss people are conservative investors, ranking 13th out of 18 countries based on average propensity to risk, according to Allianz’s analysis of the investments made by private households. The list is led by the US, Italy, Spain, Greece and Japan.
The report also found that wealth is growing fastest in Eastern Europe, followed by Latin America and emerging Asian markets.
Allianz, an international financial services company with headquarters in Munich, published the second edition of its “Global Wealth Report” on Wednesday, analysing the assets and debt of private households in 50 countries.
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