According to the 2018 Global Wealth Report published by Credit Suisse Research Institute (CSRI) yesterday (18 Oct), Singapore is now ranked ninth in the world in terms of household wealth per adult, giving it the highest rank in Asia.
It is now even higher than Hong Kong, which was ranked above Singapore in 2000. Wealth per adult in Hong Kong grew at an average annual rate of 4.3% between 2000 and 2018, versus 5.3% for Singapore. This went along with higher GDP per capita growth in Singapore over the same period, the report said.
Average wealth is at a high level in Singapore – USD283,120 per adult in mid-2018, compared to USD114,720 in 2000. The rise was mostly caused by high savings, asset price increases, and a rising exchange rate from 2005 to 2012, the report added.
Financial assets make up 55% of gross household wealth in Singapore.
The average debt of USD53,000 is moderate for a high-wealth country, equaling 16% of total assets.
Wealth inequality in Singapore is not extreme, as indicated by its wealth Gini coefficient of 76% and share of the top 1% of wealth holders of 33%. Just 14% of its people have wealth below USD 10,000, compared with 64% globally.
At the other end of the scale, the fraction with wealth above USD100,000 is five times the world average. Reflecting its very high average wealth, 0.5% of its adults, or 220,000 individuals, are in the top 1% of global wealth holders, a high number given that Singapore has just 0.1% of the world's adult population, the report further added.
Crazy Rich Singaporeans
The report also said that wealth in Singapore grew strongly at 7.4% to around US$1.3 trillion.
Millionaires in Singapore also saw an 11.2% increase to 183,737. CSRI forecasts that this will grow by 5.5% per annum in the next five years, reaching about 239,640.
As at mid-2018, there were approximately 1,000 ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals in Singapore with more than US$50 million in wealth, a modest increase of 1.1% in the 12 months to mid-2018.
It's not known if any of the Singaporean ministers are classified in the UHNW or the "crazy rich" category.
Meanwhile, the US contributed most to global wealth, with a total of US$98 trillion, continuing its unbroken run of growth in total wealth and wealth per adult every year since 2008. Trailing behind US is China, with the second largest household wealth of US452 trillion.
In addition, the number of global millionaires is projected to increase to a new all-time high of 55 million over the next five years, while UNHW individuals will reach 205,000.