National (net) wealth, also net wealth (in Singapore), national net worth, gross national wealth (GNW), and total national wealth, is the total sum value of monetary assets minus liabilities of a given nation. It refers to the total value of wealth possessed by the citizens of a nation at a set point in time. This figure is an important indicator of a nation's ability to take on debt and sustain spending, and is influenced by not only real estate prices, but also by the stock market, human resources, technological advancements which may create new assets or render others worthless, national infrastructure and exchange rates. The most significant component by far among most developed nations is commonly reported as household net wealth or worth and reflects infrastructure investment. National wealth can fluctuate, as evidenced in the US data following the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent economic recovery.
In Taiwan, Gross national wealth and net national wealth are two different measures.
In the USA, the figure regularly reported by the Federal Reserve of the US is household net worth, and includes corporations as they are essentially owned by American households. The United States Federal Reserve previously published the figure total national wealth in the past. However, this figure ignores the current balance of accumulated borrowing and assets of the federal and state governments.
Japan publishes two figures, gross national assets and net national assets. By gross national assets, Japan reports a figure of 7954 trillion yen ($103 trillion), but claims liabilities of 5242 trillion ($68 trillion) for a net 2712 trillion in 2009. However, these numbers are suspiciously large compared with GDP, only liabilities that could be worth that amount given Japan's ultra low reliance on foreign debt (in government and private sectors) is future promises of healthcare and pension for its aging citizens. Therefore, Japan compiles extra figures (which other nations do not compile) and makes their figures less meaningful to compare with other nations.
The following table are estimates for 30 largest countries by net national wealth from 2000 to 2015 made by Credit Suisse in October 2015.
The 30 Largest Countries by Net National Wealth (in billions USD)
The following table indicates the share of global wealth of the ten largest countries by net national wealth at given years. The share of global wealth of a country with 5% or more of global wealth at a given year is emboldened.
Share of global wealth of the ten largest countries by net national wealth at given years (%)