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Assets and wealth of households in Europe - statistics & facts

2020 was an exceptionally challenging year with an economic crisis caused by the global coronavirus pandemic. Worldwide private wealth, however, kept growing despite the unexpected year and reached higher levels than ever before. The same was true for many large European countries, but not all: for example, financial net worth of households in Spain declined compared to the previous year. Although, as the 18th highest, the level of wealth per adult in Spain is lower than in many other European countries.

What are household assets?

Assets held by households form an important part of the overall wealth in European societies. Household financial assets comprise various intangible asset types, such as cash and deposits, bonds, equities, and investment fund shares. Household assets, may however, also be in the form of real assets, which are physical assets such as real estate, land, and precious metals. Per capita gross financial assets globally were highest in Switzerland as of 2020, followed by the United States, while net financial assets per capita were highest in the United States, followed by Switzerland.

How are the assets allocated?

The composition of household financial assets varies widely between the European countries. Currency and deposits form the most readily available type of household assets, and are therefore often the most common. Turkey, for example, has more than 73 percent of household financial assets in currency and deposits in 2020. Switzerland, in contrast, has only around one third. Instead, a relatively large share of the Swiss household assets are placed in pension funds, making it the country in Europe with the second highest pension fund assets. The Netherlands is the country with the highest pension fund assets, both in value and as percentage of total financial household assets, reaching a share of almost 62 percent. Meanwhile, most Baltic and the Nordic countries -, except for Norway and Lithuania - had the highest shares of household wealth in equities. When it comes to real assets - and more specifically the value of housing per capita - Germany is on top, followed by France and Austria.


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