Europese topper: Norway
Aantal landen opgenomen in de ranking: 37
The wealth of the government measures the difference between the assets of the government, its holdings and its debts. Once again, this includes all branches of government: federal, regional, local and social security. This is compared to the GDP, the size of the economy of a country.
A positive figure means that the government (in the broad sense) can pay off its debt by selling assets, while a negative figure represents an unsecured debt.
Nobody will be surprised about Norway’s leading position here. For years now, a part of their oil revenue was funnelled into a sovereign wealth fund, of which only the real interest may be used. With around 6 times more relative wealth than the second placed country, Finland (308% versus 59%), they are in a category of their own.
Belgium does not do well in 29st place, with no-one in Western or Northern Europe scoring worse. Our government debt is unsecured for 89% of the GDP. Given the gas revenues and a much better balance sheet, the disappointing result of the Netherlands stands out, with a 19st place and around 38% of the GDP in unsecured debt.