According to rough estimates the total world gold holdings of the central banks of the countries and the private individuals are around 150,000 metric tonnes. Production of gold was highest in the year 2001 at around 2600 tonnes. Since then production went down to 2350 tonnes in 2008. Annual increase in gold holdings thus comes to around 1.5%. Against this, world population growth is only about 1.2%.
The population growth is high i.e. over 2% mostly in developing countries like Ethiopia, Congo, Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya, Afghanistan, Uganda etc. The gold purchasing power of the people of these countries is low and hence the gold requirement in these countries will not increase significantly. On the hand, in developed countries where the gold purchasing power of the people is high, the population growth is negligible or even negative. Developed countries like Japan, Germany, Italy and the east European countries have negative population growth. Even in high population growth countries, the poulation growth is likely to come down as the economies grow. Thus world population growth is likely to stabilize at less than 1% in the next10-15 years.
As the price of gold which used to be less than US$300 per ounce in 2000, has gone up to nearly US$1200 in 2010, the gold mines which used be unviable earlier are likely to become viable. The production of gold is therefore likely to increase.
If the central banks do not buy from the producers and allow the producers to bring gold into the markets, price of gold will keep coming down. Thus gold will gradually become less precious. In this context, it is good not to keep money in gold.