There's a viral video going around about the wealth inequality in the US. It claims the US has $54 trillion. It cites economists from Harvard Business school, but I didn't see where that particular number came from. As I understand is there are a number of ways to measure money, and I can't find which measurement the video is using. Through my internet search of unreliable data (I couldn't find much besides Yahoo answers :/) I didn't see any numbers that were nearly as high as the ones he posits. The highest I saw said the combined GDP of the world converted to US dollars is $58 trillion. [EDIT: The other sites I looked at measured the wealth using M3, but their numbers were much lower. The site I linked to said GDP was a different measure of wealth albeit a poor one.] That leaves $4 trillion for the rest of the world. No one seems to have told Europe...

Is there a measurement of money supply available that backs this video's claims?

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    translating from national level to personal level, equivalent of GDP would be your salary, while your wealth would be everything you own, including house, car, money in your savings account etc.
    – vartec
    Mar 7, 2013 at 12:27

1 Answer 1


Wealth and GDP are not the same thing. So comparing the two is not going to produce useful results.

The first answer to this question gives some estimates for wealth of various nations in 2010. As you see, the US owns about $58 trillion (i.e. the combined wealth of all its citizens and corporations, not just the government). By the same estimate world wealth is about $200 trillion, so you will see there is plenty left over for the rest of the world (kind of - the US still owns a huge fraction of world wealth relative to its population).

If you want to compare GDP, US GDP is about $15 trillion out of a world GDP of about $70 trillion (this being nominal GDP, which generally needs to be adjusted in some way to be useful). So still enough left over for the rest of the world.

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