While people around the globe were stocking up on toilet paper, the most recent gold statistics indicate that national central banks were stocking up on gold instead. Contrary to stock market statistics, the gold market is not something you hear about every day. Nonetheless, these gold trends are clear indicators of the current geopolitical and economical changes; especially so during times of recessions.
In this article, we’ll talk about the current and historical price of gold, its supply and demand over the years, the countries with the biggest gold reserves, mining data, and more.
So, without further ado, let’s dig right in (pun intended)!
Top 10 Stats & Facts About the Value of Gold Today
- 11% of global reserve assets are in gold.
- The US has the largest national gold reserves in the world.
- The New York Fed gold vault is the largest gold depository in the world.
- In 2019, gold had a whopping 235.75% return rate.
- Projections state that the price of gold will surpass $2,000 per ounce by the end of 2020.
- In 2020, the total global gold investment demand jumped by a staggering 80% YOY.
- India accounted for nearly one-third of the global demand for gold in 2019.
- Central Banks broke the 1971 record by purchasing 651 tonnes of gold in 2018.
- Russia purchased the largest amount of gold ever recorded in the span of a single year in 2018 — nearly 275 tonnes.
- There are at least 54,000 tons of underground gold left in the world.
Gold Reserves by Country Statistics
1. 11% of global reserve assets are in gold.
(WGC) (Gold Hub)
As a leading commodity, gold had gained even more prominence after WWII when the values of most world currencies were irrevocably tied to it.
At the moment, gold is the 3rd most popular reserve asset in the world, right after the European Euro and the US dollar, according to the latest money statistics.
2. 26% of the total official reserves in the European Central Bank are held in gold, stats on world gold reserves reveal.
The ECB increased its gold reserves to 26% (EUR 18.2 billion, or $19.62 billion), compared to just 15% it held back in 1999, due to the considerable increase in the price of gold.
Furthermore, according to official data from the ECB, gold was the second-most preferred form of national reserve after the US dollar, followed by the Japanese yen, and the Chinese renminbi.
3. US gold reserves are the largest national gold reserves in the world.
(Statista) (Financial Times) (US Money Reserve)
As of December 2019, the US held 8,133.53 metric tons (or 261,498,926.230 ounces) of gold in the Fed. Hence, the total book value of the US treasury-owned gold is $11.04 trillion.
In other words, 77% of the US Federal Reserve System’s monetary assets are kept in the form of gold reserves. That would explain the long history of gold heists denoted in various bank robbery statistics.
4. The OId Continent gold facts indicate that Portugal is the leading European country when it comes to gold reserves.
(Statista) (Fiscal Treasury) (Coin Week)
Namely, Portugal keeps 75% of its national assets in gold (taking second place right after the US).
Germany is a close third with 73.5%, and the Netherlands follows suit with 69%.
5. The New York Fed gold vault is the largest gold reserves depository in the world.
(Federal Reserve Bank NY)
The NY Federal Reserve Bank holds about 497,000 gold bars, or 6,190 tons of gold, as of 2019.
Stored 15.24 meters below sea level, these gold bars are the property of the US government, various foreign governments, central banks, as well as some international organizations that converted their monetary holdings to gold during WWII.
Namely, this gold is merely kept as a service (gold custody) by the NY Federal Reserve Bank as they do not directly own it.
6. A recent survey found out that 12% of adult Americans own gold.
(PR News Wire)
Cryptocurrency and blockchain investment has recently shifted the investors’ focus to so-called digital commodities. Yet, cryptocurrency statistics reveal that they are still way behind gold investments.
In addition, another 14.7% of Americans own silver, and 9.1% of the surveyed own both gold and silver.
Gold Price Today & During History
7. In 2019, gold had a whopping 235.75% return rate.
One US dollar (invested in 2018) yielded $235.75 by the end of 2019.
In essence, this return rate has been the highest one since 2002.
What’s more, the average annual return rate since 1971 had been 10.44%, and the annualized daily volatility of gold between 2009 and 2019 was just 15.81%, which was significantly lower than other indexes, such as silver, energy, oil, and platinum, over the same time period.
8. Gold price chart projections state that the price of gold will surpass $2,000 per ounce by the end of 2020.
(Bullion by Post)
The current gold price trend shows an upward motion (largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic), reaching $1,706.1 per oz as of May 05, 2020.
As a result, global economic experts expect the price to go over $2,000 per oz by the end of 2020.
9. Recent gold price history reveals that the highest value of gold ($2,172.93 per ounce) was noted in 1980.
Just a decade earlier, the lowest registered price was $238.30 per ounce. What’s more, the biggest annual fluctuation since 1915 was noted in the course of 1978 — a change of 133.41% between the beginning and the end of the year.
Gold Production and Demand Statistics
10. There are at least 54,000 tonnes of underground gold, WGC estimations claim.
(US Money Reserve)
Goldman Sachs investors speculate that the world’s remaining gold stash will be mined out by 2035. Of that, the USGS gold report states that around 18,000 tonnes remain undiscovered in the US.
In fact, gold exploration is extremely popular in Australia, Canada, and the US, which accounts for some 40% of all global spending.
11. Over 40% of gold produced in 2020 comes from the Witwatersrand Basin in South Africa, recent gold facts confirm.
(US Money Reserve) (Mining Technology)
Global estimates indicate that around 190,040 tonnes of gold have been mined over the course of history. Moreover, mines extract approximately 2,500–3,000 tonnes, per annum, around the globe.
The South Deep in South Africa is the biggest gold mine in the world with an estimated 32.8 million ounces of gold remaining, followed by the Grasberg gold mine in Indonesia with 30.2 million ounces.
Lastly, with 26 million ounces, the Olimpiada gold mine in Eastern Siberia, Russia, is the third biggest gold mine in the world.
12. China is the world’s biggest producer of gold.
(Statista) (Mining Weekly) (CEIC)
Gold rates in China continue the rising trend, so prices increase with production, it appears. China produced around 13% of the world’s gold in 2019. Moreover, its gold output has progressed over the years, reaching a record high of 453.5 tons in 2016.
As of December 2019, China produced “merely” 420 tons of gold, despite its plans of reaching 500 tons by 2020.
The second and third largest producers of gold in the world are none other than Australia and Russia — just last year, Australia reached a record-high 317 tons, and Russia followed suit with 310 tons.
13. Gold statistics from 2019 mark the first fall in gold production since 2008.
(Gold Hub) (Mining Global)
In 2019, production accounted for 3,479.6 tons of gold, marking a 1% drop in YoY output.
This is the first fall since 2008, and the supply of gold marked a 2% increase since 2018.
Although Russia marked an 8% increase in gold output, as well as Australia (3%) and Turkey (66%), these numbers were overshadowed by the production drop in China, which marked a decline of 6%.
Nevertheless, gold mining production statistics highlight that the biggest impact on the global gold production market was due to the Indonesian Grasberg mine transitioning from an open pit to underground mining.
14. Central Banks broke the 1971 record by purchasing 651 tonnes of gold in 2018.
(WGC) (Gold Hub) (Statista)
Central banks across the globe doubled down on their gold reserves in 2018 with a record amount of 651 tonnes of gold. This, in turn, represents a 74% increase compared to 2017, as well as the highest level of gold purchased since 1971, when the gold price was low.
In addition, the average daily trading volume of gold in 2018 was $110.53 billion.
15. Gold statistics in India show that in 2019, the country accounted for nearly one-third of the global demand for the precious metal.
(Statista) (Statista) (Statista)
India imported gold worth 2,294.47 rupees in the Fiscal Year of 2019. Likewise, over 6% of all national imports in India were attributed to gold, mostly for the purpose of making jewelry.
In 2019, in India, there was more than 690 metric tons of gold in demand, and in 2018, the demand for gold jewelry in India was approximately 760 metric tons.
16. US gold statistics note that gold reserves remain stable for the past 20 years.
(WGC) (Gold Hub)
Over the past few decades, central banks have purchased more than 4,300 tonnes of gold, taking their total holdings to around 34,000 tonnes to this day.
Many prominent players in the gold market have doubled and tripled their gold reserves over the last 20 years, whereas the US bullion depository remained almost unchanged during this period, ending the previous year with 5.36 tonnes less than in 2000.
17. Russia purchased the largest amount of gold ever recorded in the span of a single year in 2018 — nearly 275 tonnes.
When it comes to Russia gold reserves, the stats indicate that the country finished the year with some 2.271.16 tonnes of gold in their national reserves.
Namely, Russia managed to double the amount of gold it had in less than 5 years.
In comparison, the official gold reserves of China at the end of 2019 were “just” 1,948.31 tons.
The huge demand for gold in 2018 hit the less prominent economies of countries such as Kazakhstan, Hungary, Egypt, Poland, and many others.
18. Goldhub statistics on 31 March 2020 show that investment demands increased by 267.9 tons since Q4 2019.
The latest gold report on gold demand shows that Investments surpassed Jewelry demands for gold at the end Q1 2020, reaching 539.6 tons — the biggest value since Q2 of 2016.
Most probably the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is to blame for this sudden rise in demand.
19. Gold statistics (2020) show that there is currently a 4% drop in gold supply due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The WGC in their latest gold report highlight that the coronavirus-imposed lockdowns have diminished mine production and gold recycling, lowering the world gold supply by 4% as of March 31, 2020.
20. In 2020, the total global gold investment demand jumped by a staggering 80% YOY.
Despite the 65% drop in China’s demand for gold, the demand for gold was still sky-high — $55 billion when you look at the gold prices per gram.
In 2019, the combined gold demand of central banks and other organizations reached 648.2 tonnes, slightly less than in 2018 when the gold demand was 656.2 tonnes.
How much gold is there in the world?
As of Q4 2019, official gold reserves around the world equaled 34,735.7 tons.
What is the highest price of gold in history?
Since 1915, the highest inflation-adjusted historical price of gold per ounce was recorded in 1980 when an ounce of gold was worth $2,172.93.
Is gold at an all-time high?
(Macro Trends) (Gold Price)
The current price of gold is quite high, reaching $1,706.1 per oz as of May 5, 2020. Yet, it’s still not the historical all-time high, as can be seen from the above-mentioned stat.
Which country has the best gold in the world?
(Mining) (Rapid Tables)
Considering the grade of gold found in mine reserves around the globe, and rated according to the intelligence Mine database, Fire Creek mine in Nevada, US, has a gold grade of 44.1g per ton and is considered the best underground gold mine in the world by the grade of gold.
How much does a gold bar weigh?
The standard gold bars, or “gold bricks,” weigh 400 troy ounces, or 12.4kg, each.
The troy ounce is an ancient measurement unit invented by the Romans and is used even today for weighing precious metals; 1 troy ounce is 1.09714 standard ounces, which makes the bar 438,856 standard ounces in weight.
How much is a gold bar worth?
As of May 5, 2020, one gold bar is worth approximately $680,000 or above.
Overall, the average price of gold in the form of a standard bar is usually above $500,000, which varies daily.
What is the demand for gold?
The demand for gold is measured as the difference between gold production (mining for gold), and gold sales, which drives the price of gold on a global level.
The demand for gold is driven by different factors, as people are buying it for manufacturing jewelry and different material objects, including technology, and as a means of investment.
Generally speaking, the boom in gold prices and investments is never a good thing — it’s often associated with worldwide insecurities and global crises of different magnitudes.
The COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. In only a few months, it considerably reduced gold production, while at the same time increasing the demand, as our gold statistics clearly stated. The widespread fear is that the current status of gold will linger for a prolonged period of time.