The average Swiss sits on a fortune amounting to 450,000 francs ($497,000), making the country the wealthiest in the world, according to a new report published on Thursday.

"/> The average Swiss sits on a fortune amounting to 450,000 francs ($497,000), making the country the wealthiest in the world, according to a new report published on Thursday.

" />
SHARE
COPY LINK

ECONOMY

Swiss pass Norway to become world’s richest

The average Swiss sits on a fortune amounting to 450,000 francs ($497,000), making the country the wealthiest in the world, according to a new report published on Thursday.

Figures show Switzerland overtaking Norway as the richest nation in the world in terms of average wealth per adult. Australia and Singapore follow in third and fourth places, respectively.

When looking at figures in US dollars, average household wealth doubled in the last decade to a great extent due to the strength of the franc, the report states.

The increase was particularly strong in 2010, when Switzerland became the only country in the world where the average wealth per adult largely surpassed the $500,000 barrier.

However, in franc terms, Switzerland suffered a decline between 2001 and 2002, only to show a slight upward trend in following years.

In the category “very large fortunes” (more than $50 million), Switzerland ranks number three in the world with 3,820 individuals, after the United States with 35,400, and China with 5,400. In total, the report says that the super-rich category amounts for a total of 84,700 people in the world.

Inequalities in wealth distribution have diminished in Switzerland over the last century. As a consequence, a big portion of the population is on the upper levels of the wealth pyramid. 1.8 percent of the richest people in the world are Swiss, even though the country’s number of inhabitants does not account for more than 0.1 of the world’s population.

Overall, compared to last year, the world’s wealth increased by 18.4 percent to $231 billion, thanks to the growth in South Africa, India, Australia, Chile and Singapore.

The experts at Credit Suisse expect an increase of 50 percent of global wealth in 2016. China should become the second richest country in the world at that time, overtaking Japan. The United States is likely to retain first position with $82 billion.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

ECONOMY

Why Switzerland continues to attract foreign companies despite the coronavirus pandemic

Despite the pandemic, 220 foreign businesses set up their offices in Switzerland in 2020.

Why Switzerland continues to attract foreign companies despite the coronavirus pandemic
Switzerland is a magnet for foreign companies. Photo by Valeriano de Domenico/AFP

While this number is 9 percent lower than in the previous year, these companies have created 11 percent more new jobs — a total of 1,168 — than in 2019. Most of the new jobs were created by companies from China, the United States and Germany.

About 3,600 more positions are expected to be offered by these enterprises in the next three years, according to data from SRF, Switzerland’s public broadcaster.

In fact, Switzerland is one of the very few countries that have been able to attract international companies to its shores in 2020, a notoriously bad year for the global economy.

READ MORE: Why Switzerland’s economy is on the up despite the coronavirus pandemic

Experts believe this is due to the country’s strengths, including political, economic and financial conditions.

“Even in a time of crisis, Switzerland scored thanks to its stability, predictability and security”, said Patrik Wermelinger, member of the executive board of Switzerland Global Enterprise (SGE), which promotes the country abroad on behalf of the federal government and the cantons.

There are also other reasons that had prompted foreign companies to come to Switzerland in 2020, despite the economic uncertainty and travel restrictions.

“Protection of legal rights, freedom, and personal responsibility are stronger in Switzerland than in many other countries, even in times of pandemic”, said SGE’s co-president Walter Schönholzer.

Switzerland’s attractiveness is also boosted by studies showing the country’s economy remains the strongest in the world.

Even though the health crisis plunged Switzerland’s economic activity into a “historic” 8.2-percent slump in the second quarter of  2020, the country still boasts the world’s most resilient economy, according to research by an insurance and reinsurance company Swiss Re. 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects a 3.5-percent rebound in Switzerland’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2021.

It said Switzerland’s economy absorbed the shock of the pandemic better than other European countries and it “has navigated the Covid-19 pandemic well”.

IMF added that Switzerland’s “early, strong, and sustained public health and economic policy response has helped contain the contraction of activity relative to other European countries”.

SHOW COMMENTS