The Netherlands has fourth richest population in the world
People in the Netherlands have been ranked fourth in a listing of the world’s richest countries, by net assets per capita, according to this year's Allianz Global Wealth Report.
In 2013, the Netherlands had net private assets worth 71.430 euros per person, placing the country fourth globally, after Switzerland, the USA and Belgium.
The report, compiled by the world's largest insurance company, analyses household wealth in more than 50 countries around the world. It subtracts debt such as mortgage from gross assets like savings, investments and property to calculate net wealth per head of population.
Allianz Global Wealth Report- Top 10 countries' wealth per capita in 2013
|Net assets in euros
High Dutch debt
The Netherlands has extremely high private debt, at 50.180 per capita, or almost 140 per cent of GDP, the second highest ratio in Europe. This is more than double the Eurozone average, with only Denmark further in the red.
Despite the high debt, the Netherlands topped the list of net financial assets per capita in Europe and was listed as sixth for real estate assets in 2012. Dutch net assets even grew 3,8 per cent from 2012 to 2013, moving the Netherlands one place up in the ranking.
Low interest rates have been crucial in protecting private wealth across Europe, and have saved Dutch households more than two billion euros between 2010 and 2014. However Allianz states that if interest rates do not go up they will hamper wealth creation in the long term.
Real estate assets in the Netherlands
With one of the lowest ratios of real estate to financial assets, and despite the investment potential of cities like Amsterdam, the Netherlands is one of the countries in Europe where people are least likely to invest in property.
While European real estate assets, on average, corresponded to 80 per cent of gross financial assets in 2012, in the Netherlands it was around 35 per cent.
Instead of investing in real estate, possibly due to a tradition of social housing, Dutch citizens prefer to manage and accumulate wealth in the form of financial assets such as bank deposits, securities, insurance and pensions.
Division of financial assets
In terms of how the Dutch prefer to manage their financial assets, the report revealed that 22 per cent of capital is kept in bank deposits, 14 per cent in securities and 63 per cent in insurance and pensions.
The Global Wealth Report also found that the whole world became wealthier in 2013, with total private wealth reaching a record high of 118 trillion euros.