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WEALTH

Norway tops global prosperity ranking

Norway remains the most prosperous country in the world, edging its Scandinavian neighbours atop an annual list of countries ranked according to wealth and well-being.

Norway tops global prosperity ranking
Photo: Sara Johannessen/Scanpix
In the 2012 Prosperity Index published on Tuesday by the London-based Legatum Institute think tank, Sweden climbed to third place in 2012, up from fifth place in 2011.Norway, meanwhile, maintained its hold on the number one spot, while Denmark came in second.Published annually for the last six years, the Prosperity Index ranks 142 countries based on criteria in eight categories including economic strength, health, education and governance.

Denmark came second and Sweden third in the 2012 Prosperity Index (pdf) published on Tuesday by the London-based Legatum Institute think tank.

Published annually for the last six years, the Prosperity Index ranks 142 countries based on criteria in eight categories including economic strength, health, education and governance.

In the 2012 ranking, Sweden received highest marks in the "Entrepreneurship and Opportunity" sub-index, ranking second overall on the strength of low business start-up costs, high mobile phone penetration, and a high percentage of people who believe they will get ahead with hard work.

According to Legatum Institute CEO Jeffrey Gedmin, the index creates a "comprehensive picture of what makes a country truly successful, encompassing traditional measures of material wealth, as well as capturing citizens’ sense of well-being".

"GDP alone can never offer a complete view of prosperity," he said in a statement.

According to Gedmin, successful countries combine "social responsibility with personal freedom".

Despite continuing economic concerns in Europe, European countries dominated the top ten.

The United States, meanwhile, dropped out of the Prosperity Index top ten for the first time, dropping to twelfth place at what Gedmin called a "pivotal time" as the 2012 presidential elections draw closer.

“As the US struggles to reclaim the building blocks of the American Dream, now is a good time to consider who is best placed to lead the country back to prosperity and compete with the more agile countries that have pushed the US out of the top ten," he said.

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WEALTH

Germany takes third spot in global ranking of ‘ultra-rich’ people

Germany has snagged third place in a ranking showing the ultra rich of the world, while the number of millionaires has also gone up despite the pandemic.

Germany takes third spot in global ranking of ‘ultra-rich’ people
The number of rich is growing despite the pandemic. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Jens Kalaene

The year 2020 caused financial stress for many people across the world. But some people – including in Germany – actually got richer. 

Overall across the world, the number of individuals with a financial wealth of over 100 million US dollars (€82.25 million) grew by 6,000 during the coronavirus pandemic year 2020, according to the Global Wealth 2021 report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

Currently a record 60,000 people belong to the ultra-rich club. These individuals own 15 percent of the world’s investable assets, according to the report.

Germany came in at third place on global rankings, with around 2,900 of these “ultra-high net worth individuals,”.  The US is at the top with about 20,600 people with a wealth of over 100 million dollars, followed by China with 7,800.

READ ALSO: Who belongs to the top 10 percent of earners in Germany?

What about private wealth?

People around the globe accumulated more wealth than ever before in the coronavirus crisis year 2020.

Private financial assets rose by eight percent year-on-year to a record 250 trillion US dollars (around €205 trillion), according to the analysis.

Rising stock market prices and growing savings contributed to this. For the first time, BCG also took into account tangible assets such as real estate or gold. Total wealth thus amounted to 431 trillion dollars.

In Germany, private financial assets, including cash, account balances, shares, pensions and life insurance policies, rose by around six percent to approximately nine trillion dollars, according to the data. Tangible assets increased by five percent to 13 trillion dollars.

“Germans traditionally invest in real estate,” said BCG partner and report author Anna Zakrewski.  This is clearly shown by the real asset ratio of just under 60 percent, she said.

“At the same time, investors in Germany are saving at an above-average rate.”

Many people have been holding on to their money during the crisis, Zakrewski said, adding that temporary closures in the retail sector and travel restrictions were also putting the brakes on spending.

READ ALSO: How and why Germany’s super-rich list is growing

The number of dollar millionaires in Germany increased by 35,000 to 542,000 in 2020, according to the report. 

The consulting firm said the increase could partly be attributed to the development of the euro exchange rate, which rose against the dollar. This had a noticeable effect on the conversion to the US currency.

Across the globe, 26.6 million people own financial assets of one million dollars or more – up by 1.8 million from the previous pre-Covid year.

The US led the global wealth ranking overall with 136 trillion dollars, followed by Asia excluding Japan (111.9 trillion) and Western Europe (103 trillion). In view of the expected economic recovery after the crisis, BCG believes global private wealth will grow steadily in the coming years.

READ ALSO: This is how many millionaires live in Germany

Who are the richest people in Germany?

As heirs to Aldi Süd, they became billionaires: Beate Heister and Karl Albrecht Junior are currently the richest people in Germany, with assets of 39.2 billion US dollars, according to Forbes.

In second place of the richest Germans is Dieter Schwarz, owner of the Schwarz Group, which Lidl and Kaufland belong ($36.9 billion) to. Theo Albrecht, the co-owner of Aldi Nord, is also in the top seven, with assets of $18.8 billion.

Internationally, however, another (super) market founder is leading: with 177 billion US dollars, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is currently considered the wealthiest person in the world.

Graph translated by Statista for The Local Germany
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