New Zealand makes list of world's wealthiest countries

Our wealth is also relatively evenly distributed according to the report.
Our wealth is also relatively evenly distributed according to the report. Photo credit: Getty

New Zealand has made the list of the world's richest countries for the first time ever.

The latest Global Wealth Report puts New Zealand fifth in the world - partly thanks to our house prices.

The Credit Suisse Research Institute released its report on Tuesday, showing global wealth has risen by NZ$14.2 trillion. That's a 2.6 percent increase on last year.

In New Zealand, total wealth rose 4.2 percent and wealth per adult increased 3.1 percent. 

"New Zealand is the world's fifth richest country as measured per adult wealth," said Credit Suisse's chief investment officer for Asia-Pacific John Woods.

"Only Switzerland, Hong Kong, US and Australia rank higher."

As well as being the fifth richest country in the world, the report says Kiwi wealth is "reasonably evenly distributed". 

Rising house prices have contributed to the country's wealth. Household assets now comprise 47 percent of wealth, compared to 42 percent in 2011.

"Almost half of average wealth comprise of real household assets due mainly to rising house prices. Importantly, household debt has been declining in relative terms since 2008," said Woods.

Household debt is now averaging NZ$67,597. 

New Zealand's wealth inequality is also below average, with the top 1 percent of Kiwis holding 19 percent of the wealth.

In comparison, the top 1 percent own 45 percent of net assets globally.

Top ten wealthiest countries per adult

1.    Switzerland

2.    Hong Kong

3.     US

4.    Australia

5.    New Zealand

6.    Singapore

7.    Canada

8.    Denmark

9.    UK

10.  Netherlands