Wealth Redistribution

Intranational and Global Redistribution of Wealth. Map: Jordan Engel

Building off our earlier maps of global wealth inequality, we thought it would be interesting to explore the outcomes of two different wealth redistribution schemes. Above, the map shows an intra-national redistribution of wealth in which typical residents (those of median wealth) of the most unequal countries (such as Russia, Ukraine, U.S., Germany, and Sweden) stand to benefit the most. The lower map, showing an international redistribution of wealth, illustrates how much wealth is concentrated in a few rich countries.

Globally, the mean wealth per adult in 2019 was $70,850 USD, while the median wealth was just $7,087. If a country’s median wealth is below $70,850, its average residents stand to gain from a global redistribution of wealth. Just a handful of rich countries would actually see their wealth decline. Notably absent from that list is the United States (median wealth: $65,904, mean wealth: $432,365), where the gap between rich and poor is so extreme that the typical American would be 10% wealthier from a global redistribution of wealth.

Source: Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook


  1. The second map seems to make little sense: how a wealthy and well-off country like Germany, or oil-rich Norway as well, would gain average wealth if globally flattened and a quite poor backwater like Spain would lose it. The average salary in Spain is already much less than in Germany (even if living costs are quite comparable).

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