Germany, according to a new report from the World Gold Council.
Finance-minded Germans purchase over 100 tonnes a year in bars and coins, and have done so consistently since the fallout from the 2008 global financial crash (in 2007, total national investment was 36 tonnes).
German investment demand peaked in 2016, and by the end of September 2017 the country had total holdings of nearly 250 tonnes.
The primary motivations behind this hoarding is financial security; gold is seen as much more reliable and resistant than cash, instilling a sense of long-term investment and security.
The reasons behind Germany’s interest in gold investment is also historical; the country has seen eight currency changes in a century, and its people are the collective recipients of the 20th century’s most memorable period of hyperinflation, which began during the days of the Weimar Republic in the aftermath of WWI and culminated in the lunacy that was the trillion mark note.
Today however, Germany is praised for its sound fiscal stability, and per-capita gold demand in Germany is the highest in the world, averaging out to nearly 1.5 grams per person.
Competition is not even close; the next highest ranked country, Turkey, averages about 0.9 grams per person and third-placed China about 0.7 grams per person, so even when compared with other gold-loving countries, Germany’s demand is remarkable.