Gold is not just for individuals and companies. Countries also invest huge sums of money in this precious metal, in many cases sinking the future of their nation on it. That’s because few things offer as much stability as gold does, and it is often seen as a viable method to secure financial reserves.
You could be mistaken for thinking that the richest countries in the world have the largest stockpile of gold, but that’s not always the case. On a list of the countries with the largest stockpile, there are quite a few surprises. In this article we’ll take a look at those countries, listing the top five. All amounts were accurate as of 2015, but as these amounts are constantly being added to, they may not remain accurate for long.
A strong financial force in Europe, France is one of the continent’s biggest countries and also one that gets a major say with regards to the European Union. France has a strong military, despite its occupation during the Second World War, and its economy is one of the highest on the continent. All things considered, it is perhaps no surprise to learn that they are where they are on this list, and just a few years ago they were ranked even higher.
China’s stockpile of gold was disputed for many years, as the Chinese government refused to release information on just how much they owned. They finally released that info in 2015, and the amount they claimed ownership of put them in fourth position overall, knocking France down a peg. Still, there are some who claim that their actual stockpile is much more than this, with others suggesting that they could actually own more gold than the United States.
Italy has close to 2.500 tons of gold, but the vast majority of this is stored overseas, in foreign banks and vaults. This may come as a surprise to many considering that Italy has been through through financial hardship in recent years, but this is a country that has historically enjoyed great wealth. Italy has a lot of natural resources and strong export markets, it has also been at the forefront of the European economy throughout the history of the EU. This has allowed it to steadily build-up a stockpile, even in the face of its dramatic losses during World War II, when it sided with the Axis powers and was the first of those nations to fall.
Germany are often considered to be the powerhouse of Europe. As with Italy, they struggled after the Second World War and their economy was destroyed after they were forced to pay reparations and were sanctioned by Russia, the United States and other allied forces. Still, their work ethic and their industry allowed them to bloom, and in the year that followed World War II, they began to piece themselves together again, eventually becoming one of the richest countries in the world. They now own close to 4,000 tons of gold, with most of this being held in the Federal Reserve in New York.
1. United States
It is perhaps no surprise to see the US at the top of the list, and it is equally unsurprising to learn that the amount of gold they own is close to twice that of second-placed Germany. They have more than 7,000 tons in their stockpile, and despite holding the rest of the world’s gold, the US store most of their own stockpile overseas.
In the 1950s the US actually had much more gold at close to 20,000, but within a decade they had sold off close to half this.