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:
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.
Say we have only 11 people in Lalaland with wealth of:
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.
Say we have 11 people with wealth of:
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$)||GDP per capita (in US$)|
From this list, Singapore happens to be the only country which has a median wealth that is less than its GDP.