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Saturday, 27 October 2007

The Wealth of Nations: Part II - Net Wealth

Another way of comparing the wealth of nations is to look at how much of the world's total net wealth each country has and compare it to what percentage of the world's population lives in that country. If every country had equal shares of the world's wealth per person, then a country with 10% of the world's population would have 10% of the world's net wealth, a country with 1% of the world's population would own 1% of the world's wealth and so on. Therefore, if you simply divide each countries share of the world's net wealth by it's share of the world's total population you can see which countries have more than their "fair" share of the world's wealth, and which have less. I've drawn data on the net wealth and population of the fifty-two most populous countries from "The World Distribution of Household Wealth" by J. Davies, S. Sandstrom, A. Shorrocks, and E. Wolff and ranked them by the ration wealth/population (which I'll call "richness"). These 52 countries represent around 90% of the world's population and 90% of the world's net wealth.

pcnt pop pcnt wealth richness
Japan 2.09 18.37 8.79
USA 4.67 32.65 6.99
UK 0.96 5.95 6.20
Italy 0.95 4.54 4.78
Germany 1.35 5.69 4.21
France 0.97 4.07 4.20
Canada 0.50 1.74 3.48
Australia 0.31 1.04 3.35
Spain 0.67 2.24 3.34
Israel 0.36 1.05 2.92
Korea South 0.77 1.11 1.44
Argentina 0.61 0.75 1.23
Saudi Arabia 0.35 0.28 0.80
Mexico 1.64 1.05 0.64
Iran 1.09 0.62 0.57
Venezuela 0.40 0.20 0.50
Poland 0.64 0.32 0.50
Brazil 2.86 1.33 0.47
Turkey 1.12 0.52 0.46
South Africa 0.75 0.22 0.29
Malaysia 0.38 0.11 0.29
Egypt 1.11 0.31 0.28
Peru 0.43 0.11 0.26
Romania 0.36 0.09 0.25
Colombia 0.69 0.16 0.23
Thailand 1.01 0.22 0.22
Morocco 0.48 0.09 0.19
Iraq 0.41 0.07 0.17
Philippines 1.25 0.21 0.17
Russian Fed. 2.41 0.36 0.15
China 20.57 2.62 0.13
Sri Lanka 0.33 0.04 0.12
Algeria 0.50 0.05 0.10
Indonesia 3.44 0.24 0.07
Ukraine 0.81 0.05 0.06
Bangladesh 2.12 0.13 0.06
Pakistan 2.34 0.14 0.06
Korea-North 0.36 0.02 0.06
Viet Nam 1.29 0.07 0.05
India 16.78 0.91 0.05
Afghanistan 0.39 0.02 0.05
Myanmar 0.78 0.04 0.05
Nepal 0.40 0.02 0.05
Uzbekistan 0.41 0.02 0.05
Kenya 0.50 0.02 0.04
Sudan 0.54 0.02 0.04
Tanzania 0.57 0.02 0.04
Ghana 0.33 0.01 0.03
Uganda 0.40 0.01 0.03
Nigeria 1.93 0.04 0.02
Congo DR 0.82 0.01 0.01
Ethiopia 1.13 0.01 0.01
TOTALS 88.33 89.98

The richest 12 countries have more than their "fair share" of wealth, while the poorest 19 have less than 1/10th the share of an equitable share of the world's wealth. In an ideal world each nation would have roughly the share of the world's wealth that is due to their population. However, the best way to achieve this is build up the economies of the poorer (underdeveloped) nations, rather than to attempt to simply redistribute the existing wealth.

Copyright Enough Wealth 2007


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