Changes in household wealth during COVID-19

Eliza Buglar

Oct 12, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected billions of people around the world, from the obvious health impact of the virus, to the flow-on effects on countless businesses and industries. Now, eighteen months in, we want to know if there is a difference in household net worth between 2019 and 2020.

Firstly, we need to understand what net wealth (or net worth) is. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a household’s financial net worth consists of their total financial assets minus their financial liabilities. Financial assets include the things that a household owns, like equity and investment shares, while liabilities are those things they owe (e.g. loans).

Using the Household net worth statistics indicator on the OECD Data website, we took a deeper look into how the net worth of households in 20 countries has changed over the last five years, particularly between 2019 and 2020. Here’s what we found.

Methodology

We extracted data on household net worth per capita from the OECD Household net worth indicator for the years 2015-2020. Where a country didn’t have 2020 data available, it was excluded from our final list. We then used a spreadsheet calculator to determine the year-on-year difference of household net worth between 2019 and 2020 and presented it as a percentage.

Sources

OECD (2021), Household net worth (indicator). doi: 10.1787/2cc2469a-en (Accessed on 03 August 2021)

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