This Country Has Set Aside Almost $200,000 for Each of Its 5 Million Citizens
Norway's giant government savings fund said it hit a new milestone on Tuesday: It had amassed $1 trillion, or roughly $188,000 for each of the 5.32 million Norwegians.
The fund, which holds and invests the proceeds from Norway's enormous oil and gas wealth, which was discovered in the 1960s in the North Sea, is intended to provide "for future generations" of Norwegians.
Invested in stocks, bonds and real estate, the sovereign wealth fund has gotten a boost this year as stock markets around the world have rallied. Apart from 212.5 billion Norwegian Kroner (about $27 billion) that the fund transferred to the Norwegian government last year, the assets are invested for the long term, so Norwegians can continue to benefit from the energy windfall even after the oil wells run dry.
So where's the fund holding America's national energy wealth for you and me? Unlike Norway, the U.S. has largely allowed its oil and gas wealth to pass into private hands. If you want a share of American energy riches, you'll need to invest in Big Oil or other energy companies.
Residents of one state, however -- Alaska -- do receive an annual cut from the energy produced in their state. Since the state started doling out dividends in 1982, those yearly checks have ranged from around $300 to $2,000, according to Courthouse News Service; last year each Alaskan got $1,022 for his or her share of the state's energy wealth.
(An earlier version of this story mistakenly stated that Norwegian oil money was transferred to the Swedish government.)