Global wealth report 2014

15 Oct 2014

Provides a comprehensive and up-to-date source of information on global household wealth.


The Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date source of information on global household wealth. Since 2010, we have collaborated with Professors Anthony Shorrocks and Jim Davies, recognized authorities on this topic, and the principal authors of “Personal Wealth from a Global Perspective,” Oxford University Press, 2008. Unlike other studies, this report measures and analyzes trends in wealth across nations from the very base of the “wealth pyramid” to the nultra-high net worth individuals. The methodology is robust, established over many years of analysis, and completely transparent with regard to the underlying sources and their quality.

Although the global economic environment has remained challenging, total global wealth has grown to a new record, rising by USD 20.1 trillion between mid-2013 and mid-2014, an  increase of 8.3%, to reach USD 263 trillion – more than twice the USD 117 trillion recorded for the year 2000. With an 11.4% year-on-year increase, wealth creation was particularly strong in North America, where it now stands at USD 91 trillion, or 34.7% of total wealth. Europe made the second largest contribution, with wealth increasing 10.6% to USD 85.2 trillion. In both regions, capital markets were a key source of wealth growth: equity market capitalization grew by 22.6% in the United States, while Canada, France and Germany all recorded gains close to 30%.

As we noted last year, Asia and particularly China will account for the largest portion of newly created wealth among the emerging markets. However, we find that emerging-market wealth growth has not been able to maintain its momentum from the pre-crisis period between 2000 and 2008. This should not distract from the fact that personal wealth in India and China has risen by a factor of 3.1 and 4.6 since 2000. While we have seen an uptrend in the share of wealth in emerging markets, that trend has come to a halt in recent years, mainly due to a de-acceleration in growth and underperforming equity markets. However, we expect to see a big improvement in the position of emerging economies over the next five years.

We devote this year’s special topic to wealth inequality. The changing distribution of wealth is now one of the most widely discussed and controversial of topics, not least owing to Thomas Piketty’s recent account of long-term trends around inequality. We are confident that the depth of our data will make a valuable contribution to the inequality debate.

Over the last four years, the Credit Suisse Wealth Report has become a key reference on one of the most crucial issues in contemporary economics. Its findings are now highly anticipated. It is a premier example of the Credit Suisse Research Institute’s thought leadership and proprietary research, and we are determined to maintain that tradition.


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