Household wealth in Australia grew at a fast pace between 2000 and 2014 in US dollar terms, except for a short interruption in 2008. The average annual growth rate has been 11%, with about a third of the rise due to exchange rate appreciation. Using constant exchange rates, wealth has grown on average by 4.4% per annum since 2007, compared with a 9.2% rate over 2000-2007. Despite this recent slowdown, Australia’s wealth per adult in 2014 is USD 430,800, the second highest in the world after Switzerland. Its median wealth of USD 225,400 is the highest in the world.
Interestingly, the composition of household wealth in Australia is heavily skewed towards real assets, which averaged USD 319,700 and form 60% of gross household assets. This average level of real assets is the second highest in the world after Norway. In part, it reflects a large endowment of land and natural resources relative to population, but it is also a result of high urban real estate prices.
Only 6% of Australians have net worth below USD 10,000, which can be compared to 29% in the USA and 70% for the world as a whole. Average debt amounts to 20% of gross assets. The proportion of those with wealth above USD 100,000 is the highest of any country – eight times the world average. With 1,783,000 people in the top 1% of global wealth holders, Australia accounts for 3.8% of this wealthy group, despite having just 0.4% of the world’s adult population