The ranking by median wealth per adult favors countries or regions with lower levels of wealth inequality. Median bwealth values reflect the circumstances of the average adult and, within countries or regions, as a trend give a good indication of how the average person has fared over time.
Although the countries with the highest median wealth are located in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, North America leads the regional ranking by a huge margin. Median wealth in North America is currently more than three times the level in Europe and China, and 50 times the level in India.
China exceeded Europe briefly
Remarkably, median wealth in China exceeded the median value in Europe briefly in 2016 and remains close to the European level (USD 18,150) today. This is partly a reminder that Europe is quite heterogeneous and includes a number of countries with relatively low wealth.
Prior to the financial crisis, the regional trends were similar and all moving strongly upward. The upward trend then halted or reversed in all regions except China. The decline in median wealth was less pronounced than the upswing, and the median recovered in some regions.
Wealth inequality has not yet fallen significantly, but has stabilized according to most indicators. Thus the future prospects for inclusive wealth growth look more promising than they have for the past couple of years.