An Exploration of Key Topics Shaping the Future.


What is meant by Wealth? (when discussing economics)

The Wikipedia page describes ‘wealth’ as an ‘abundance of abundance of valuable resources or valuable material possessions’ which is one common usage of the word ‘wealth’, but the page also states the meaning of wealth is context-dependent.  The same Wikipedia page  page states ‘economists may define wealth as “anything of value” ‘.

So wealth can either mean ‘anything of value’, where ‘of value’ means ‘of economic value’,  when ‘wealth’ is used in an economic context.

To be clearer, and use similar words to the Wikipedia entry:

Wealth (n):

  1. resources or goods of economic value, or material possessions
  2. An abundance of (1)

I am using definition (1) on this site.  Under this definition, how ‘wealthy’ a person is determined by the amount of wealth they have.  A ‘wealthy’ person has more wealth than they need, and a ‘poor’ person has insufficient wealth.

Yes, in some usages of ‘wealth’ a person with insufficient housing, food, clothing and other material possessions is said to have ‘no wealth’, rather ‘insufficient wealth’,  but to use the word that way requires a new word which does not currently exist, for definition (1) above.

So, in these pages,  ‘wealthy’ means an abundance of ‘wealth’, and ‘wealth’ is what you have an abundance of in order to be wealthy.

This aligns with the definition used in economics.  If it is not your usual definition, please tolerate difference.