Which Continent Is the Richest in the World?

The wealthiest continent in the world is Europe. Europe owns just below $33 trillion dollars in assets, making it the richest continent. North America takes a close second, with assets worth $32.7 trillion.

Europe historically has a strong middle class, which provides some protection against economic downturns. Europe typically endures economic stresses better than most areas of the world, including the United States. Following the global economic recession in 2009, Europe suffered less catastrophic financial damage than the United States. However, its offshore financial centers suffered considerable financial damage and are still regaining their strength.

Although Europe enjoys considerable wealth, that wealth concentrates among elite individuals and companies. Swiss banks and successful entrepreneurs comprise the majority of Europe’s assets. The Swiss banking industry enjoys substantial tax breaks and minimal regulatory oversight, creating an environment conducive for growth.

Following the recession, Latin America persevered as the only continent experiencing financial growth. Europe continues leading the world in wealth, but many areas in Asia, such as Hong Kong and Singapore, see rapid growth opportunity as well.