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The Changing Wealth of Nations

Fragment of the report cover The Changing Wealth of Nations 2021 South Asian woman in red dress on the blue background


The Changing Wealth of Nations 2021 provides an updated database and rich analysis of the world’s wealth accounts spanning 146 countries, annually from 1995 to 2018. It contains the widest set of assets covered so far, including human capital broken down by gender, as well as many different forms of natural capital, spanning minerals, fossil fuels, forests, mangroves, marine fisheries and more.

The Changing Wealth of Nations 2021: Managing Assets for the Future

This edition of The Changing Wealth of Nations is the fourth World Bank report on global wealth accounting. It breaks new ground by expanding coverage and measures of capital assets, including natural capital and also, for the first time:

  • Applying purchasing power parity (PPP) prices to wealth 

  • Applying decomposition analysis to understand the drivers of change in wealth

  • Introducing blue natural capital to the core accounts, such as marine fisheries and mangroves

The Changing Wealth of Nations 2021 moves beyond comprehensive wealth accounting, to now provide policy insights to guide sustainable development:

  • New analysis on the impacts of climate change

  • New analysis on how to manage assets under conditions of risk and uncertainty, 

  • New estimate of how climate policies could affect the value of assets under alternative future scenarios about  the low-carbon transition; and

We examine the impact on human capital of two important phenomena: the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of air pollution, as well as the distorting impact of nonrenewable wealth on human capital.