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Wealth is the abundance of valuable resources or valuable material possessions. This includes the core meaning as held in the originating old English word weal, which is from an Indo-European word stem. An individual, community, region or country that possesses an abundance of such possessions or resources to the benefit of the common good is known as wealthy.
The modern concept of wealth is of significance in all areas of economics, and clearly so for growth economics and development economics yet the meaning of wealth is context-dependent. At the most general level, economists may define wealth as "anything of value" that captures both the subjective nature of the idea and the idea that it is not a fixed or static concept. Various definitions and concepts of wealth have been asserted by various individuals and in different contexts. Defining wealth can be a normative process with various ethical implications, since often wealth maximization is seen as a goal or is thought to be a normative principle of its own.
The United Nations definition of inclusive wealth is a monetary measure which includes the sum of natural, human, and physical assets. Natural capital includes land, forests, Energy resources, and minerals. Human capital is the population's education and skills. Physical (or "manufactured") capital includes such things as machinery, buildings, and infrastructure. Qatar is the wealthiest country in the world per capita.
Adam Smith, in his seminal work The Wealth of Nations, described wealth as "the annual produce of the land and labour of the society". This "produce" is, at its simplest, that which satisfies human needs and wants of utility. In popular usage, wealth can be described as an abundance of items of economic value, or the state of controlling or possessing such items, usually in the form of money, real estate and personal property. An individual who is considered wealthy, affluent, or rich is someone who has accumulated substantial wealth relative to others in their society or reference group.
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