Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Average wealth in Singapore up 6.8% to $351,998: Credit Suisse

In a news article today, it was reported that the average wealth per adult has increased by 6.8% over the past year to US$282,000 (S$351,998). The report defines wealth as the value of financial assets plus real assets - mainly real estate - minus household debt.

see article:

Of course, "average wealth" is meaningless in a country with a high Gini coefficient. Singapore's gini coefficient stands at 0.478 in 2012. The gini coefficient is a measure of "income inequality" in a country. The coefficient is a number between 0 and 1 where 0 correspond to perfect equality and 1 correspond to perfect inequality.

I was more interested in the MEDIAN wealth and tried to dig further for more info. The report provided a nice little summary for each county. The summary for Singapore is as follows:
The median Singapore wealth is US$90,466. This works out to $112,921. The median data is much more useful. At the very least, we now know that 50% of the Singapore population has a net worth of more than $112,921. It brings a second question: How much increase was it from the previous year?

A further search for last year (2012) 's data shows the following:
The median Singapore wealth in 2012 was US$95,542. The median wealth is 5.31% lower this year!

Recalling that the average wealth has increased by 6.8%, we can see that the gap between the rich and poor has yet again widen. Comparing the 2 year's data, we also see that the number of millionaires has increased from 156000 to 174000. The percentage of global wealth holders has also increased. 

Other thoughts
I feel that the article is very misleading. The article tried to paint a picture where Singaporeans has increased in wealth over the past year. But in reality, even though the average wealth has increased, the median wealth has dropped by 5.3%. The article should have provided the median wealth information as well to provide a more complete picture.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good point there