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World’s Ultra-Wealthy Population, in One Chart

The World's Ultra-Wealthy Population, in One Chart

The World’s Ultra-Wealthy Population, in One Chart

Reaching the status of “millionaire” used to be a big deal.

But with rising inflation, a higher cost of living in cities, and changing perceptions around wealth, the six zero milestone doesn’t mean as much anymore.

Heck, there are over 16 million millionaires globally, and 4.3 million in the United States alone. Therefore, to really get a sense of the makeup of the world’s ultra-wealthy population, we need a more exclusive and finely-tuned indicator.

The $50 million Benchmark

Today’s infographic comes to us from the Knight Frank Wealth Report 2018, which you should absolutely check out if global wealth is a topic of interest to you.

The visualization breaks down the world’s 129,730 people that have fortunes of US$50 million and above. It’s a much narrower measure, representing just the upper echelon (top 1%) of the world’s millionaire population.

The graphic sorts these ultra-wealthy people by country and region, but also breaks down the change in population between 2016 (Q4) and 2017 (Q4).

The Ultra-Wealthy by Region

Here’s the $50 million and above population sorted by region:

RankRegionUltra-wealthy pop (>$50mm)1-yr growth rate
Total129,730
#1North America44,000+5%
#2Asia35,880+15%
#3Europe35,180+10%
#4Middle East4,740+3%
#5Latin America4,220+20%
#6Russia & CIS2,870+26%
#7Australasia1,650+9%
#8Africa1,190+7%

North America still reigns supreme, but Asia is fast catching up and has already surpassed Europe in this measure of wealth. It’s worth noting that in the one-year span between 2016 (Q4) and 2017 (Q4), the ultra-wealthy population for Asia grew a solid 15%.

It’s also surprising to see that Latin America and Russia & CIS are experiencing such high rates of growth in their >$50 million populations, as well.

Top 10 Ultra-Wealthy Countries

By absolute population, here are the top 10 countries for the ultra-wealthy, based on the above data:

RankCountryUltra-wealthy pop (>$50mm)% of global total
#1United States38,50029.7%
#2Japan9,9607.7%
#3Mainland China8,8006.8%
#4Germany8,0706.2%
#5Canada5,5004.2%
#6France5,2404.0%
#7Hong Kong, China5,1404.0%
#8United Kingdom4,5803.5%
#9Switzerland3,7102.9%
#10Italy3,1502.4%

The U.S. holds about 30% of the world’s ultra-wealthy population, while China adds up to nearly 11% when including both Mainland China and Hong Kong in the calculations.

Switzerland (8.4 million people) punches above its weight class, hitting the #9 spot globally, while Canada takes the #5 spot despite having fewer people (36 million) than the majority of the countries on the list.

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