An interesting table of per capita median wealth. http://www.alternet.org/economy/americas-middle-class-27th-richest Except for (say) the top 20%, Americans are mere paupers compared to the average Aussie, who is 5 times richer. Yes their houses and petrol are cheaper, but they pay more for health, drive more and don't get many holidays. Inequality is the big killer there - if a mean wealth number was used the Americans would look better. Some other countries do unexpectedly better and worse - even societies that are more equal. The Nordic countries generally top international charts like these for life expectance, health, education, income equality etc but even the latter doesn't translate into a high median wealth for them. Or maybe superannuation and pensions are treated and counted differently (ie government schemes versus private accounts?). Germany's economy is supposedly one of the best in Europe. Yet the median Italian, pom or Frenchman is twice as wealthy. Despite in two out of those three cases sharing currency with the German. Some continental European countries (including those reputed to be wealthy) prefer renting to home ownership - so to the extent that this happens fewer people have equity in their home. But either renting is as dear as home ownership or they lack the forced savings of paying off a mortgage so accumulate less wealth. Or maybe it's just that the Aussie dollar is overvalued and is really only worth about half what the exchange rate says it is?