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Taiwan wealth 'higher than most Asia-Pacific nations'

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by November 23, 2016 General

CNA
November 24, 2016, 12:21 am TWN

TAIPEI — Taiwan’s average wealth level in 2016 stands at US$172,800, which is well above those of most countries in the Asia-Pacific region and similar to that of Western Europe, according to the Credit Suisse Research Institute’s latest Global Wealth Report.

The report published Tuesday stated that wealth per adult in Taiwan grew by 59 percent to the current level in 2016, from US$108,600 in 2000.

According to the report, the richest nations, with wealth per adult of over US$100,000, are found in North America, Western Europe and among the rich Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern countries.

Topping the list is Switzerland (US$562,000), followed by Australia (US$376,000), the United States (US$345,000), Norway (US$312,000), New Zealand (US$299,000), the United Kingdom (US$289,000), Singapore (US$277,000), Belgium (U$271,000), Canada (US$270,000) and Denmark (US$260,000).

Other countries with higher average wealth include Japan (US$230,000).

Meanwhile, the report also found that Taiwan has a high savings rate and well-developed financial institutions, citing these as reasons why the composition of household wealth is skewed toward financial assets. “The latter now makes up 64 percent of total assets,” it said.

Compared to the world as a whole, Taiwan has high average wealth and only moderate wealth inequality, the report said.

“While 20 percent of the adult population have wealth below US$10,000, that is not high compared to 73 percent worldwide,” the report said.

It added that 38 percent of adults in Taiwan have wealth of over US$100,000, which is almost five times greater than the worldwide average of 8 percent.

The report said that the large number of Taiwanese with high wealth reflects high mean wealth, instead of high wealth inequality. Compared with countries around the world, “Taiwan’s wealth Gini coefficient of 74 percent lies in the moderate range, and is one of the lowest among emerging market economies,” it added.

The Gini coefficient is the most commonly used measure of the inequality in income distribution, with the number zero representing complete equality and the maximum of one standing for complete inequality.

There are about 356,000 U.S. dollar millionaires in Taiwan in 2016, the report said, adding that the number is expected to grow to 489,000 in 20121.

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