Gold Reserves (Metric Tonnes)
World Ranking
0
200
500
700
1.1K
2.2K
2.5K
8.2K

Search

Filter

Table

Full screen

Gold Reserves by Country (Top 50, 2023)

Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)World Gold Council
earthcountryeconomygold

Top 50 Countries with the Biggest Gold Reserves (June 2023)

Gold reserves have long been a barometer of a nation's wealth and economic stability. These reserves are held by central banks and reflect the amount of gold a country possesses that can be easily liquidated. The dataset visualised in the map lists the top 50 countries by gold reserves, along with their respective world rankings.

The data show that the United States holds the largest gold reserves by a significant margin, with Germany a distant second. The reserves are measured in metric tonnes and also include the world ranking of each country based on the size of their reserves.

Analysis

  1. Dominance of the United States: With 8133.5 metric tonnes of gold, the United States tops the list. This is more than double the reserves of Germany, which sits at second place with 3359.1 metric tonnes. The U.S. gold reserves account for a significant portion of the world's total and underline the country's economic power.
  2. European Countries' Holdings: Among the top five, three are European countries (Germany, Italy, and France), indicating Europe's strong presence in gold holdings. This could be a legacy of historical accumulations and a reflection of their economic strategies.
  3. Russia and China: Russia and China, two major global players, are fifth and sixth, respectively. Their substantial gold reserves can be seen as a part of their broader economic and geopolitical strategies to stabilize their currencies and reduce dependence on the U.S. dollar.
  4. Switzerland's Position: Despite its relatively small size, Switzerland is seventh. This is notable, given the country’s role as a global banking hub and its historical neutrality.
  5. Diversity in the Top Ten: The top ten is rounded out by Japan, India, and the Netherlands, showcasing a diversity of economies, from Asia to Europe. Japan's and India's positions reflect their economic heft and the importance they place on gold as a strategic asset.

Insights

  1. Middle Eastern Presence: Saudi Arabia, at 17th, has the highest gold reserves in the Middle East, followed closely by Lebanon and Iraq. The Gulf countries' investment in gold may be part of diversifying their assets beyond oil.
  2. BRICS Nations: Among the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), all but Brazil are within the top 32. This indicates their emerging market economies' emphasis on maintaining sizable gold reserves, possibly to bolster financial security and global trade influence.
  3. Surprises in the Rankings: Countries like Lebanon and Portugal feature relatively high up on the list, despite not having large economies compared to some below them. This could be indicative of their monetary policies or historical acquisitions.
  4. Gold Reserves vs. Gold Production: Interestingly, Australia, one of the largest gold producers, ranks only 39th in terms of gold reserves. This suggests that gold-producing countries do not necessarily hold onto the gold they mine, likely selling it off to build foreign exchange reserves in different assets.
  5. Regional Variations: The list shows regional variations. For instance, European countries are prevalent in the top 20, whereas African countries, with the exception of South Africa, are not prominent, despite the continent's vast mineral wealth.
  6. Economic Size vs. Gold Reserves: There isn't a direct correlation between the size of an economy and gold reserves. For example, China has the second-largest economy but is sixth in gold reserves, whereas countries with smaller economies like Switzerland and the Netherlands have larger gold reserves per capita.

Conclusion

The distribution of gold reserves across these 50 countries provides insights into the economic strategies, historical wealth accumulation, and current financial policies of nations. Gold continues to play a crucial role in national reserves, serving as a hedge against inflation and economic uncertainty. This dataset, while only providing a snapshot, opens avenues for deeper analysis of global economic trends and strategies.