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Who Has the Gold?

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Which countries hold the most gold?

Central banks around the world have been piling up gold. After a record-setting 2022, central bank gold reserves increased by 228 tons through the first three months of 2023, a Q1 record. This was 38% higher than the previous first-quarter record set in 2013.

Total central bank gold buying in 2022 came in at 1,136 tons. It was the highest level of net purchases on record dating back to 1950, including since the suspension of dollar convertibility into gold in 1971. It was the 13th straight year of net central bank gold purchases.

According to the World Gold Council, there are two main drivers behind central bank gold buying — its performance during times of crisis and its role as a long-term store of value.

It’s hardly surprising then that in a year scarred by geopolitical uncertainty and rampant inflation, central banks opted to continue adding gold to their coffers and at an accelerated pace.”

National Bank of Poland Governor Adam Glapiński summed up the reason many central banks hold gold.

Gold is the ‘most reserve’ of reserve assets: it diversifies the geopolitical risk and is a kind of anchor of trust, especially in times of tension and crises.”

So far this year, the following central banks have added the most gold to their reserves, according to data from the World Gold Council.

  • Singapore – 68.67 tons
  • China – 57.85 tons
  • Turkey – 30.21 tons
  • The Czech Republic – 1.54 tons.

So, which countries hold the most gold?

Here are the top 20 gold hoarders in the world based on the most recent data from the World Gold Council.

1. The United States — 8,133.5 tons — 68.7% of total reserves

2. Germany — 3,354.9 tons –68.2% of total reserves

3. Italy — 2,451.8 tons — 65.4% of total reserves

4. France — 2,436.8 tons — 67% of total reserves

5. Russia — 2,326.5 tons — 24.9% of total reserves

6. China — 2,068.4 tons — 3.9% of total reserves

7. Switzerland — 1,040.0 tons — 7.3% of total reserves

8. Japan — 846,0 tons — 4.3% of total reserves

9. India — 794.6 tons — 8.7% of total reserves

10. The Netherlands — 612.5 tons — 57.7% of total reserves

11. Turkey — 572.0 tons — 34.1% of total reserves

12. Taiwan — 423.6 tons — 4.6 % of total reserves

13. Portugal — 382.6 tons — 70.1% of total reserves

14. Uzbekistan — 381.3 tons — 68.5% of total reserves

15. Kazakhstan — 332.0 tons — 58.5% of total reserves

16. Saudi Arabia — 323.1 tons — 4.3% of total reserves

17. The United Kingdom — 310.3 tons — 11.4% of total reserves

18. Lebanon — 286.8 tons — 53.9 percent of total reserves

19. Spain — 281.6 tons — 18.3% of total reserves

20. Austria — 280.0 tons — 50.1% of total reserves

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) holds 2,814.0 tons of gold. It would rank third in the world if it were a country. The European Central Bank holds 506.5 tons of gold, ranking it 13th among countries.

Venezuela holds the largest percentage of its total reserves in gold at 84.2%.

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