As the World’s Wealth Rises, Australia Is the Biggest Winner

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Australia is luring increasing numbers of global millionaires, helping make it one of the fastest growing wealthy nations in the world, according to reports from New World Wealth.

The influx may be because of Australia’s superior healthcare system and lower inheritance taxes, its ideal location to do business with Asia, as well as proximity to the South Pacific Islands that allow retired yacht owners to sail away. And, of course, the nation’s pristine beaches.

Over the past decade, total wealth held in Australia has risen by 85 percent compared to 30 percent in the U.S. and 28 percent in the U.K., aided by the fact that Australia has gone 25 years without a recession. As a result, the average Australian is now significantly wealthier than the average American or Briton. The country may attract even more migrants as racial and religious tensions rise in Europe, according to the reports.

At the end of 2016 individuals held about $192 trillion of wealth worldwide, or about 11 times the U.S. gross domestic product, with 13.6 million millionaires holding $69 trillion of this. There were 522,000 multi-millionaires, having net assets of $10 million or more. “Wealth” refers to the net assets of a person, including property, cash, equity, business interests and minus any liabilities.

Given its relatively small population, Australia also makes an appearance on a list of average wealth per person. This one is, however, dominated by small tax havens. Wealth per person is a better measure of financial health than GDP per capita, according to New World Wealth, because it avoids multiple counting, assesses the efficiency of the local banking sector and stock market at retaining wealth in the country and adjusts for anomalies where the bulk of GDP flows to the government, such as in countries like Zimbabwe and Bahrain.

The reports are based on profiles of more than 150,000 global millionaires, interviews with migration experts, wealth managers and property agents, government and stock exchange data and investor visa program statistics.

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