TAIPEI: Taiwan’s average level of wealth per adult is estimated at $172,847, well above that of most countries in the Asia-Pacific and similar to that of Western Europe, according to the Global Wealth Report 2016 released last week 23 by Credit Suisse Research Institute (CSRI).
The seventh annual survey of 215 countries puts Taiwan ahead of the Asia-Pacific average of $46,325 and global mean of $52,819. As an “Asian Tiger,” the nation is categorized as a high-income economy with “satisfactory” wealth data quality.
But the result is down 5.4 percent from last year, a trend attributed by the CSRI to falls in Taiwan’s market capitalization, housing price index and exchange rate of 10.5 percent, 4.7 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively.
Despite the decline, the result still represents growth of 59 percent from $108,600 in 2000, or 95 percent using constant exchange rates during the 16-year period. In addition, the report found Taiwan’s national wealth of $3.2 trillion accounts for 1.3 percent of the worldwide total.
A breakdown of Taiwan’s wealth portfolio reveals that financial assets comprise 64 percent of the net total. CSRI chalks this up to the country’s high savings rate and well-developed financial institutions. Debt is relatively low at $26,629 per adult, or 13 percent of gross assets.
The report also highlights Taiwan’s moderate wealth disparity in a year marked by increased economic inequality in major economies around the world. A total 38 percent of adults possess over $100,000 in wealth and 20 percent less than $10,000. In comparison, the global averages were 8 percent and 73 percent, respectively.
A large number of adults in Taiwan with high wealth reflects high mean wealth, rather than high wealth inequality, the CSRI said, adding that the country’s wealth Gini coefficient—a measurement of inequality among income brackets with 100 percent the most extreme—stands at 74 percent, one of the lowest among emerging market economies.
Taiwan also has 356,000 dollar millionaires, down from 414,000 the year before, the report found, with the figure expected to hit 489,000 in 2021.