Skip to main content

Gold Demand: A Different View

Most market observers are aware that China is the world’s largest gold-consuming nation. However, a different way of judging the relative strength of gold demand in a country is to express it as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).


Such a ranking will tend to highly rank nations with lower levels of wealth or wealthy countries with low populations. According to a recent World Bank report, here are the top 10 as a percentage of GDP. Alongside them is the percentage of household spending devoted to purchasing gold:

Nation % Of GDP Spent On Gold % Of Household Spending Spent On Gold

India 1.14% 1.91%

Vietnam 0.99% 1.47%

Thailand 0.65% �� 1.33%

Hong Kong 0.59% 0.86%

Pakistan 0.52% 0.64%

Kuwait 0.49% 1.33%

Egypt 0.44% 0.52%

Sri Lanka 0.44% 0.63%

United Arab Emirates 0.41% �� 1.07%

Turkey 0.39% 0.69%

In comparison, because of the substantially higher per capita GDP in China than in India, that nation only spends 0.30 percent of GDP on gold. Still, even that is far higher than the U.S. at a small 0.03 percent of GDP.

The global averages are 0.16 percent of GDP spent on gold and 0.29 percent of household spending is devoted to acquiring gold.

Patrick A. Heller was the American Numismatic Association 2018 Glenn Smedley Memorial Service Award, 2017 Exemplary Service Award 2012 Harry Forman National Dealer of the Year Award, and 2008 Presidential Award winner. Over the years, he has also been honored by the Numismatic Literary Guild (including twice in 2019), Professional Numismatists Guild, Industry Council for Tangible Assets, and the Michigan State Numismatic Society. He is the communications officer of Liberty Coin Service in Lansing, Michigan and writes Liberty’s Outlook, a monthly newsletter on rare coins and precious metals subjects. Past newsletter issues can be viewed at Some of his radio commentaries titled “Things You ‘Know’ That Just Aren’t So, And Important News You Need To Know” can be heard at 8:45 AM Wednesday and Friday mornings on 1320-AM WILS in Lansing (which streams live and become part of the audio and text archives posted at