In 2013 a "Global Wealth Report" prepared by Credit Suisse found that thanks in part to the mining boom Australians had become the richest people in the world with a median wealth per adult of more than US$200,000.
When measured on an average basis Australians came in second only to the Swiss with an average wealth per person of more than US$400,000.
Such reports are interesting to a point, although of course they will always mask a large number of underlying trends, including generational, regional, or racial inequality, for example.
And although I figured that households in aggregate must surely getting wealthier given that we haven't had a recession for 25 years, I realised I hasn't recently updated by charts.
One of the things worth noting about reports by guys like Credit Suisse is that by necessity they are denominated in US dollars, and thus without looking at an equivalent report for 2015 I'd hazard that with our dollar falling from around parity to around 75 US cents, then we wouldn't score quite so highly on Credit Suisse's measures today.
But what about when wealth is priced in our local currency?
Aggregate household balance sheet
Given that equities-based wealth and financial assets should grow substantially over time with a swelling population and compulsory superannuation contributions, total financial assets grew by an underwhelming +7 per cent over 2015 to $4.31 trillion.
The commodities index has performed so dismally since 2008 that it has dragged our domestic share market performance down to the extent that our local index has barely budged for a decade.
That said, thanks to the power of compounding dividends have still delivered returns of around 56 per cent over the past ten years.
Net worth per capita in 2015
Largely driven by land and dwellings, household net worth has increased by $3.9 trillion or +84 per cent over the decade to December 2015.
Of course, as the population grows and the cost of living increases, then so too must household net worth in order for living standards to be maintained.
Much of this increase has been driven by property ownership, and after adjusting for cost of living increase the improvement or otherwise in wealth and living standards is largely determined by how households have fared in terms of the housing market.
Winners and losers
Gearing and serviceability ratios
By the end of 2015 households held around $1.59 trillion of mortgage debt against $5.6 trillion of property assets (total residential land and dwellings are worth somewhat more than this, but the asset class is not entirely owned by Aussie households).
Instead I've just copied the ABS chart below - go and check the source data for yourself, it's here: Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (Cat. no. 5206.0) Table 20. Household Income Account, Current prices).
Furthermore, with land and dwellings representing by quite a margin the largest asset class at $5.9 trillion, how households have fared in terms of dwelling ownership has inevitably in turn had a significant bearing on where they score on the household net worth measurement.