Taiwan

2014


Taiwan

Asian tiger

Taiwan is a good example of an Asian Tiger economy. Its average level of wealth, at USD 182,800, is well above that of even the most successful developing and transition countries, and comparable to the wealth levels found in many countries in Western Europe. Wealth per adult grew from USD 107,000 in the year 2000 to USD 171,400 in 2010, with no decline during the global financial crisis of 2007-08. Currency depreciation caused a 9% drop in wealth in USD in 2011, but wealth rose a little in domestic currency and has since edged upwards again. Over the entire period 2000-14, wealth per adult grew by 3.7% per annum using current USD and by 4.7% per year using constant exchange rates.

Reflecting a high saving rate and well-developed financial institutions, the composition of household wealth is skewed towards financial assets, which comprise 62% of total assets. Debt is modest, averaging 13% of gross assets.

Relative to the rest of the world, wealth distribution in Taiwan is skewed towards the high end, with only a fifth of the adult population having wealth below USD 10,000 compared to 70% in that bottom range for the world as a whole. Almost 40% of adults in Taiwan have wealth over USD 100,000 which is over four times greater than the worldwide average of 9%. The large number of Taiwanese with high wealth reflects high average wealth, rather than high wealth inequality: the Gini coefficient of 73% lies in the moderate range for wealth holdings, and is one of the lowest among emerging market economies.

2013

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