Global dividends soared 10.5 per cent to $1.167 trillion in 2014, according to the latest Global Dividend Index from Henderson Global Investors.
The US remained the number one driver of global dividend growth, with Australia the largest contributor within the Asia Pacific.
All sectors in the US economy, except the US mining sector, saw increases. This equates to 17 per cent headline growth and 15.6 percent underlying growth.
According to the index, at face value, Australian dividend payments fell by 8.8 per cent in 2014, namely due to a weaker Australian dollar.
However, Australian dividends in fact grew by five per cent.
Australian companies delivered $50.4 billion to their shareholders in 2014, the index report found.
Moreover, European dividend growth was up 12.3 per cent despite disappointing performances from Germany and Italy.
Henderson Global Investors head of global equity income Alex Crooke said: “2014 was a superb year for income investors, with developed markets leading the charge. After such a strong performance in 2014, we now expect a pause for breath in 2015”.
A few things will change in 2015, said Mr Crooke.
“Three key things have changed: first, the global economic outlook has clouded; secondly, the oil price has collapsed to a six-year low and thirdly, the US dollar has surged in value.
“We don’t expect developed market oil companies to reduce their dividends in 2015, but there is a strong likelihood that emerging market producers will pay out markedly less this year as their profitability comes under pressure.
“Overall, we now expect dividends to grow just 0.8 per cent this year on a headline basis, to $1.176 trillion," he said.