Gold is an important component of central bank reserves because of its safety, liquidity and return characteristics – the three key investment objectives for central banks. As such, they are significant holders of gold, accounting for around a fifth of all the gold that has been mined throughout history. To help understand this sector of the gold market, we publish gold reserve data – compiled using IMF IFS statistics – which tracks central banks’ (and other official institutions, where appropriate) reported purchases and sales along with gold as a percentage of their international reserves.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis,
International Monetary Fund,
World Gold Council; Disclaimer
This chart was updated in May 2023 and reports data available at that time. Data are taken from the International Monetary Fund's International Financial Statistics (IFS), May 2023 edition, and other sources where applicable. IFS data are two months in arrears, so holdings are as of March 2022 for most countries, February 2022 or earlier for late reporters. Where the World Gold Council knows of movements that are not reported to the IMF or misprints, changes have been made.
The percentage share held in gold of total foreign reserves is calculated by the World Gold Council. The value of gold holdings is calculated using the end of quarter LBMA Gold Price, which is published daily by ICE Benchmark Administration for the value of other reserves are taken from IFS, table ‘Total Reserves minus Gold’.
Length and Frequency
Quarterly official gold holdings from 2000, as well as the latest available month-end data for the Top 100 holders.
Monthly and annual detailed changes in gold reserves from January 2002.
Annual sales by CBGA signatories from 1999.
Monthly files are updated within the first 10 days of the month (with data two months in arrears). Quarterly data is updated a month after the end of the quarter.
Holdings are given in tonnes, US$ value and % of total reserves. Changes in holdings are measured in tonnes.