Another 400,000 Australians to become millionaires by 2028

Investing

Australia’s average wealth-per-adult increased by nearly 10% in 2023, more than twice the growth-rate of UBS’ sample of 56 countries, its latest Global Wealth Report found.
Global wealth: Median Australian worth $388k – and nation ranks second globally. Image source: Getty Images
Key Takeaways
  • Australia’s average wealth-per-adult increased by nearly 10% in 2023, more than twice the growth-rate of UBS’ sample of 56 countries, its latest Global Wealth Report found.
  • The nation ranked second in terms of median wealth behind Luxembourg, and fifth in terms of average wealth as of 2023.
  • Inequality has worsened between 2008 and 2023, with the gap between the haves and have-nots increasing 5.4% in that time.
  • Australian counts fewer than 2 million millionaires, but it expects to see an increase of 21% – or 400,000 – by 2028.
Big number

150%. That’s how much average wealth has grown in Australian between 2008 and 2023, to US$546,184 (AU$807,898) and median growth isn’t far behind, up 110% to US$261,805 (AU$387,254).

Key facts

The rate of growth in Australia is slowing. In 2023, Australia’s average wealth-per-adult increased by nearly 10%, but median wealth only increased about half as much. That suggests wealth in the lower brackets rose slower than those in higher ones.

Looking at compound annual growth rates (CAGR), Australian wealth grew at a CAGR of 15% between 2000 and 2010, but just 4% between 2010 and 2023. That’s a decrease of over two-thirds. Overall, global wealth growth has cooled, falling from an annual average of 7% between 2000 and 2010 to just over 4.5% between 2010 and 2023.

What to watch for

Emerging markets.

Across 2023, global wealth rebounded from its 2022 slump, led by Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), which saw wealth grow by 4.8%. Looking ahead, UBS expects wealth-per-adult to keep growing in all markets, with emerging markets’ share of global wealth expected to break through the 38% barrier this year.

Crucial quote

“This growing wealth, and the wealth transfers now occurring as the baby boomer generation ages, reinforces the need for investors to build a long term wealth plan and to get the correct advice.” – Andrew McAuley, managing director at UBS Wealth Management Australia.

Tangent

Australian baby boomers are set to transfer $4.9 trillion in wealth to the next generation, in the largest wealth transfer in history. On average, each recipient will inherit about $320,000, but financial advisory firm JBWere estimates women will become the custodians of more than 65% ($3.2 trillion) of the total transfer because they tend to outlive their partners. Finances at the point of wealth transfer are most likely to be managed by eldest daughters – who are also 50% more likely to shoulder the burden of managing the family’s estate.

Data from 2023 also shows women millionaires are growing at a rate of 5.7% per year, while men millionaires are growing at 3.6% per year. That’s thanks to more women entering STEM-related higher education courses, and showing a healthy appetite for entrepreneurship.


Top 10 countries for median wealth
  1. Luxembourg: US$372,258
  2. Australia: US$261,805
  3. Belgium: US$256,185
  4. Hong Kong SAR: US$206,859
  5. New Zealand: US$202,525
  6. Denmark: US$193,669
  7. Switzerland: US$171,035
  8. United Kingdom: US$163,515
  9. Norway: US$152,233
  10. Canada: US$142,587

Top 10 countries for average wealth
  1. Switzerland: US$706,612
  2. Luxembourg: US$607,524
  3. Hong Kong SAR: US$582,000
  4. United States: US$564,862
  5. Australia: US$546,184
  6. Denmark: US$448,802
  7. New Zealand: US$408,231
  8. Singapore: US$397,708
  9. Norway: US$382,575
  10. Canada: US$375,800

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