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# Average Wealth of Singaporeans

According to the Credit Suisse Global Wealth report, the average wealth per adult here has grown from US\$105,000 in 2000 to US\$255,488 this year.

This puts Singaporeans the fourth richest country in the world behind Switzerland, Norway and Australia.

The skeptics among us will probably be asking. Sure or not?

Well, here are the numbers:

1. Switzerland US\$372,692
2. Norway US\$326,530
3. Australia US\$320,909
4. Singapore US\$255,488
5. France US\$255,156
6. Sweden US\$243,506
7. US US\$236,213
8. Luxembourg US\$234,972
9. UK US\$229,940
10. Italy US\$226,423

Before we bring out the champagne to celebrate, note that these numbers measure the average wealth per adult, which statistically might not be the best measure.

A better measure would be median, which is described as the numeric value separating the higher half of a sample or a population from the lower half.

Let’s look at a couple of examples.

Example 1

Say we have only 11 people in Lalaland with wealth of:

1. \$50,000
2. \$55,000
3. \$60,000
4. \$65,000
5. \$70,000
6. \$75,000
7. \$80,000
8. \$85,000
9. \$90,000
10. \$95,000
11. \$100,000

In this example, the wealth is quite evenly distributed. The median wealth of the population is the wealth of the sixth person, ie \$75,000. The average also works out to be \$75,000. In this case, both the median and average would offer a fair view of the wealth of most average people in Lalaland.

Example 2

Say we have 11 people with wealth of:

1. \$50,000
2. \$55,000
3. \$60,000
4. \$65,000
5. \$70,000
6. \$75,000
7. \$80,000
8. \$85,000
9. \$90,000
10. \$95,000
11. \$2,000,000

The numbers are similar to the first one, with the exception of the richest person. For the second example, the median is still \$75,000 which is the wealth of the sixth person. However, the average is now \$247,727, which does not fairly reflect the wealth of most average people in Lalaland. In fact, 10 out of 11 people in Lalaland would have wealth that is less than the average figure. In this case, only the median would offer a fair view of the wealth level of the average person in Lalaland.

For the record, Singapore’s median wealth per adult actually stands at just US\$30,092. There is a huge difference from the average wealth which suggests that a lot of wealth is concentrated at the top echelons.

If we consider the fact that most Singaporeans would have a sizable amount of their savings in their CPF, the median disposal wealth per adult would be much lower. Actually, even the entire sum of US\$30,092 will not be enough to buy a 3-room HDB apartment.

The ranking by median wealth goes like this:

 Country Median wealth per adult (in US\$) Mean wealth per adult (in US\$) GDP per capita (in US\$) Norway 157,239 326,530 88,590 Australia 124,234 320,909 53,862 Italy 115,182 226,423 35,231 Luxembourg 111,631 234,972 107,599 Finland 104,615 151,572 44,651 Japan 102,946 201,387 41,366 Iceland 95,026 207,666 38,835 Canada 94,700 225,896 45,658 Belgium 92,263 211,013 43,354 Ireland 90,025 151,196 48,578 Austria 86,946 180,392 47,087 United Kingdom 78,765 229,940 35,721 Netherlands 68,522 148,856 48,224 UAE 68,468 150,121 49,995 Spain 67,611 101,799 30,960 France 66,521 255,156 42,414 New Zealand 61,971 170,736 31,067 Germany 59,077 164,561 40,679 Kuwait 47,975 101,968 37,451 United States 47,771 236,213 47,702 Cyprus 45,189 86,478 28,379 Greece 42,576 99,413 29,060 Switzerland 41,547 372,692 69,839 Taiwan 38,106 119,152 17,927 S. Korea 37,389 70,751 20,265 Portugal 33,380 86,133 21,185 Singapore 30,092 255,488 40,336

From this list, Singapore happens to be the only country which has a median wealth that is less than its GDP.

lioninvestor says 10 years ago

With the USD weakening, both our median and average wealth (measured in USD) are increasing.

armor says 10 years ago

From this list, Singapore happens to be the only country which has a median wealth that is less than its GDP.
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Swiss also

lioninvestor says 10 years ago

Oh yes, missed that. Thanks for pointing that out.

lioninvestor says 10 years ago

I have updated the post with the median rankings….

Nuts says 10 years ago

Funny that both the average of US\$255K and the median of US\$30K were BOTH in the SAME REPORT, but most of the media chose to highlight the US\$255K!

Creates more publicity and earns them more money from readership I guess.

Seriously for real-world accuracy and for actual situation on the ground, MSM and all our govt ministers should BAN the use of “average” and start highlighting the “median” instead.

lioninvestor says 10 years ago

I think the median rank was probably censored away. 😀