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Here Are The Top 15 Countries Ranked By Gold Reserves

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Written by Dana Sanchez

Aug 05, 2020

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The U.S. maintains huge gold reserves to support the dollar as the world’s primary reserve currency. Here are the top 15 countries ranked by gold reserves. Image in the public domain/Pixabay

The world’s countries have stashed away 34,700 tons of gold reserves as of January 2020, many using foreign vaults to keep it safe.

It’s hard to get your head around how much ore had to be mined to extract 34,700 tons of gold from the earth. The World Gold Council defines high-quality underground mines as having a gold ore density of 8-to-10 grams of gold per ton of ore. Low-quality underground mines have a gold ore density of 1-to-4 grams of gold per ton of ore, according to Investopedia.

Gold is the most followed and traded commodity on the planet. Central banks hold gold reserves as insurance to support and stabilize fiat currency against hyperinflation and during economic catastrophes like the one brought on by covid-19.

If the U.S. dollar were to dramatically decline in value relative to other currencies — as has been warned and predicted — the government could sell gold to buy dollars and support its value, The Balance reported.

The U.S. dollar fell in July by the most in 10 years while gold pushed higher as traders grew increasingly anxious about U.S. political uncertainty and recovery — or lack of it.

Relatively few countries have large gold reserves, according to 24/7 Wall Street. Just 25 countries hold more than 80 percent of the world’s national gold reserves.

The world’s third-largest gold-producing country after South Africa and Australia, the U.S. maintains such large reserves to support the value of the U.S. dollar as the world’s primary reserve currency.

To determine the countries that control the world’s gold, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on gold reserves by country in tonnes or metric tons as of January 2020 from the World Gold Council. Data on gold as a share of a country’s total foreign exchange reserves also came from the World Gold Council and is current as of January 2020. 

Here are the top 15 countries ranked by gold reserves.

15. Uzbekistan

• Gold reserves as of January 2020: 333.7 tonnes

• Gold reserves in USD as of January 2020: $16.8 billion

• Gold as percentage of total foreign exchange reserves: 56.7 percent

• GDP: $250 billion ($7,592 per capita)

• Population: 33 million

14. Portugal

• Gold reserves as of January 2020: 382.5 tonnes

• Gold reserves in USD as of January 2020: $19.2 billion

• Gold as percentage of total foreign exchange reserves: 76.8 percent

• GDP: $298 billion ($28,999 per capita)

• Population: 10.3 million

13. Kazakhstan

• Gold reserves as of January 2020: 386.5 tonnes

• Gold reserves in USD as of January 2020: $19.4 billion

• Gold as percentage of total foreign exchange reserves: 67.1 percent

• GDP: $452 billion ($24,738 per capita)

• Population: 18.3 million

12. Taiwan, province of China

• Gold reserves as of January 2020: 422.4 tonnes

• Gold reserves in USD as of January 2020: $21.2 billion

• Gold as percentage of total foreign exchange reserves: 4.3 percent

• GDP: N/A

• Population: N/A

11. Turkey

• Gold reserves as of January 2020: 428.7 tonnes

• Gold reserves in USD as of January 2020: $21.5 billion

• Gold as percentage of total foreign exchange reserves: 21.8 percent

• GDP: $2.1 trillion ($25,358 per capita)

• Population: 82.3 million

10. Netherlands

• Gold reserves as of January 2020: 612.5 tonnes

• Gold reserves in USD as of January 2020: $30.8 billion

• Gold as percentage of total foreign exchange reserves: 70.2 percent

• GDP: $858 billion ($49,787 per capita)

• Population: 17.2 million

9. India

• Gold reserves as of January 2020: 635 tonnes

• Gold reserves in USD as of January 2020: $31.9 billion

• Gold as percentage of total foreign exchange reserves: 7 percent

• GDP: $9.3 trillion ($6,888 per capita)

• Population: 1.4 billion

8. Japan

• Gold reserves as of January 2020: 765.2 tonnes

• Gold reserves in USD as of January 2020: $38.4 billion

• Gold as percentage of total foreign exchange reserves: 2.9 percent

• GDP: $5 trillion ($39,294 per capita)

• Population: 126.5 million

7. Switzerland

• Gold reserves as of January 2020: 1,040.0 tonnes

• Gold reserves in USD as of January 2020: $52.3 billion

• Gold as percentage of total foreign exchange reserves: 6.2 percent

• GDP: $505 billion ($59,317 per capita)

• Population: 8.5 million

6. China

• Gold reserves as of January 2020: 1,948.3 tonnes

• Gold reserves in USD as of January 2020: $97.9 billion

• Gold as percentage of total foreign exchange reserves: 3.1 percent

• GDP: $22.5 trillion ($16,182 per capita)

• Population: 1.4 billion

5. Russia

• Gold reserves as of January 2020: 2,279.2 tonnes

• Gold reserves in USD as of January 2020: $114.5 billion

• Gold as percentage of total foreign exchange reserves: 20.6 percent

• GDP: $3.8 trillion ($24,791 per capita)

• Population: 144.5 million

4. France

• Gold reserves as of January 2020: 2,436.0 tonnes

• Gold reserves in USD as of January 2020: $122.4 billion

• Gold as percentage of total foreign exchange reserves: 63.6 percent

• GDP: $2.6 trillion ($39,556 per capita)

• Population: 67 million

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3. Italy

• Gold reserves as of January 2020: 2,451.8 tonnes

• Gold reserves in USD as of January 2020: $123.2 billion

• Gold as percentage of total foreign exchange reserves: 69.3 percent

• GDP: $2.2 trillion ($35,828 per capita)

• Population: 60.4 million

2. Germany

• Gold reserves as of January 2020: 3,366.5 tonnes

• Gold reserves in USD as of January 2020: $169.1 billion

• Gold as percentage of total foreign exchange reserves: 74 percent

• GDP: $3.8 trillion ($45,936 per capita)

• Population: 82.9 million

1. United States

• Gold reserves as of January 2020: 8,133.5 tonnes

• Gold reserves in USD as of January 2020: $408.7 billion

• Gold as percentage of total foreign exchange reserves: 77.9 percent

• GDP: $18.2 trillion ($55,719 per capita)

• Population: 327.2 million

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