All the Gold in the World in 2011

At the end of 2011 there was approximately 165,000 metric tons of total mined gold in the world, which is worth close to $8.5 trillion.

With the way the economy has been going the last couple of years, the price of gold has skyrocketed, hitting record highs upon numerous occasions. Readers of Physician's Money Digest might be interested in learning more about "all of the gold in the world," especially if any has already invested in gold or is considering the move.

At the end of 2011 there was approximately 165,000 metric tons of total mined gold in the world, which is worth close to $8.5 trillion. Recently, Numbers Sleuth released a fact sheet about all the gold in the world, which can actually be contained within three-and-a-half Olympic-sized pools.

Over the years gold production has increased more or less in line with the increase of the world population. Since 1959, gold production grew by a factor of 2.1 and the world’s population by a factor of 2.2. Since we just hit the 7 billion mark, there could be $1,213 in gold for each person on the planet. That’s the equivalent of five gold rings per person.

Jewelry is the most common use for the gold that’s mined, accounting for 52%. After jewelry, 34% is used for official holdings and investments, 12% for industrial use and 2% is actually unaccounted for.

India is the biggest consumer of gold if you gauge consumption by jewelry. China and the U.S. are the second and third biggest consumers, respectively. However, the U.S. actually had less jewelry consumption in 2010 compared to 2009, while India’s consumption increased from approximately 450 metric tons to 750 metrics tons.

As for the gold that’s used for monetary and investment purposes, the United States’ central bank has by far the most gold reserves with approximately 8,000 metric tons. Germany has the second largest with 3,400 metric tons, followed by Italy, France and China to round out the top five countries.

Of the top five countries with the largest gold reserves, only China and the U.S. were in even the top 50 of gold-producing nations in 2009. In fact, they’re the top two, with China producing 320,000 kilograms and the U.S. producing 223,000 kilograms.

National Geographic

Since 1950 the price of gold was fairly steady with an increase in the early ’80s, but there was a very steep climb just after 2005. According to , the richest gold deposits in the world are quickly being depleted as we’ve extracted more than half of all gold in the last 50 years.