Which Countries Gained (and Lost) the Most Millionaires in 2020?
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Which Countries Gained (and Lost) the Most Millionaires in 2020?

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The World's Millionaires

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The Briefing

  • Despite the pandemic, the world gained 5,632,000 millionaires in a single year
  • The U.S. still has the highest concentration of millionaires in the world. From 2019 to 2020, almost 2.3 million Americans achieved millionaire status
  • Other countries, such as Brazil and Mexico, lost a significant number of millionaires, likely because of currency devaluation

Which Countries Gained and Lost the Most Millionaires in 2020?

2020 was an unusual year for everyone, and even some of the world’s millionaires had a rough go. But just how much did COVID-19 impact the ultra-wealthy, and how many actually lost their millionaire status in 2020?

The answer to that varies, depending on the region. Here’s a look at which countries gained—and lost—the most millionaires last year.

The World’s Millionaires: Top Gainers and Losers

There was an unusual amount of movement both in and out of the millionaires club in 2020. For instance, the U.S. gained almost 2.3 million new millionaires, while Brazil’s millionaires club lost around 81,000 members compared to its 2019 numbers:

CountryNet Change, 2019-2020% Change, 2019-2020
U.S.+2,251,000+11%
China+1,281,000+22%
Switzerland+246,000+28%
Canada+200,000+14%
Japan+187,000+6%
Chile-9,000-11%
South Africa
-12,000-19%
Mexico-17,000-6%
Brazil-81,000-22%

What are some possible reasons for this discrepancy?

One potential factor is the stock market falls that were triggered by COVID-19. But another likely reason is currency devaluation, which could have happened regardless—during the first half of 2020, Mexico’s currency depreciated by 18%, while Brazil’s dropped by 27%.

Big Loss for Some, Huge Gain for Others

Clearly, the COVID-19 impact has differed greatly across regions.

But geography isn’t the only factor at play—while certain sectors have proven to be pandemic proof, other industries have suffered greatly because of the virus.

For instance, the tech sector thrived last year, and a few key tech billionaires grew their net worth significantly in 2020 as a result. On the flipside, hospitality took a beating, with many restaurants facing permanent closures.

Where does this data come from?

Source: Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2020
Details: This annual report is put together by the Credit Suisse Research Institute, and analyzes the household wealth of 5.2 billion people across the globe
Notes: Millionaires are defined as adults with wealth above 1 million USD

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Datastream

Which Countries Believe WWIII is Coming?

In every single country surveyed, the majority of respondents believed a global conflict would break out between superpowers in coming years

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which countries believe WWIII is coming?

The Briefing

  • In every single country surveyed, the majority of respondents believed a world war would break out in coming years
  • Australia was the most pessimistic, and Japan was the most optimistic

Which Countries Believe WWIII is Coming?

After a pandemic, rampant inflation, a faltering global economy, and geopolitical flare-ups, it’s no surprise that people have a souring outlook on the future.

Even so, the results of this recent survey by Ipsos are eyebrow raising. In all 33 countries where polling took place, the majority of respondents said they believe a world war on the scale of WWI and WWII would break out between global superpowers in coming years.

Here’s a look at how various countries felt about the possibility of an impending global conflict:

Country% somewhat/strongly agreeChange from 2021 (p.p.)
🇦🇺 Australia81%+8
🇮🇪 Ireland80%n/a
🇲🇽 Mexico80%+8
🇵🇪 Peru80%+3
🇮🇳 India79%+3
🇨🇱 Chile78%+3
🇨🇴 Colombia78%+1
🇲🇾 Malaysia78%+4
🇹🇭 Thailand78%n/a
🇧🇪 Belgium77%+18
🇷🇴 Romania77%n/a
🇨🇦 Canada76%+13
🇺🇸 United States76%+6
🇫🇷 France75%+16
🇬🇧 Great Britain75%+19
🇳🇱 Netherlands75%+15
🇿🇦 South Africa75%+3
🇪🇸 Spain75%+5
🇦🇪 UAE75%n/a
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia74%+12
Global Country Average73%+10
🇧🇷 Brazil72%+10
🇦🇷 Argentina71%+5
🇹🇷 Turkey71%+8
🇵🇱 Poland70%+4
🇺🇦 Ukraine70%n/a
🇰🇷 South Korea69%+17
🇭🇺 Hungary67%+10
🇨🇳 China64%+6
🇮🇹 Italy64%+19
🇩🇪 Germany63%+17
🇮🇩 Indonesia63%n/a
🇸🇪 Sweden60%+11
🇯🇵 Japan51%+16

Japan was the least sure of an impending global conflict—an opinion that is almost certainly shaped by the country’s historical experience in WWII.

Australia was the most certain of an impending global conflict. The country has a unique relationship with Asian and Western countries, so geopolitical tensions between superpowers may resonate more in the Land Down Under.

The Power of Fear

Given the negative slant of stories covered by mass media and the types of stories that are most widely shared on social media platforms, it’s easy to understand how people have developed such a gloomy view of the future. But “bad vibes” aside, how could this perception translate into real world action?

For one, public opinion helps shape political priorities. A narrative of impending conflict could have an impact on geopolitical policy and relationships.

Another possibility is an increase in military spending across the board. 64% of people across 30 countries somewhat or strongly agree that their home government should beef up military spending “given the dangers in the world.” Aside from Ukraine, India (84%) and Poland (81%) ranked the highest in support of increasing military spending.

One other noteworthy finding is that 85% of people in the countries surveyed believe that the world needs new international agreements and institutions to deal with the challenges faced by the world today, and that world powers are unlikely to respect agreements made through international bodies. These findings are significant since war becomes more likely as cooperation between countries breaks down.

Where does this data come from?

Source: Ipsos, for Halifax International Security Forum

Data note: These are the results of a 33-market survey conducted by Ipsos on its Global Advisor online platform. Ipsos interviewed a total of 32,507 adults aged 18-74 in the United States, Canada, Malaysia, South Africa, and Turkey, 20-74 in Thailand, 21-74 in Indonesia, and 16-74 in the remaining markets between Friday, September 23 and Friday, October 7, 2022.

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What Does 30 Years of Global Deforestation Look Like?

Deforestation over the last 30 years has led to a 177.5 million hectare reduction in world’s forests. See why these trends need to reverse swiftly in order to effectively manage climate change. (Sponsored Content)

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The Briefing

  • 177.5 million hectares of land have been lost to deforestation since the 1990s
  • Deforestation accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions

30 Years of Deforestation

Estimates say deforestation practices need to be thwarted by 75% by 2030, in order to effectively manage rising global average temperatures. But when looking at deforestation data over the last 30 years, it’s clear we’ve gone in the opposite direction.

This sponsored graphic from The LEAF Coalition looks at the total land lost to deforestation since the 1990s and compares it to the total land in the U.S. as a point of reference.

The Rise and Fall of Forests

Approximately 4% of the world’s forests have been lost since the 1990s. This is equivalent to 177.5 million hectares or 685,000 square miles, and greater than the total land area of 179 countries in the world. In addition, this covers one-fifth of the land in America. Here’s how the average global annual net change in forest area looks on a decade-by-decade basis.

Period

Global Annual Forest Area Net Change (Hectares)

2010-2020

-4.7M ha

2000-2010

-5.2M ha

1990-2000

-7.8M ha

A silver lining here is that in the most recent decade that’s passed we’ve seen a reduction in the amount of deforestation. Compared to the late 1990s, the decade between 2010 and 2020 has seen yearly deforestation reduce by 3.1 million hectares from 7.8 million to 4.7 million.

However, there’s still plenty of work that needs to be done and the devastating impact deforestation has on the environment cannot be understated.

Not Out of the Woods Yet

By some estimates, 30% of the globe’s carbon emissions are absorbed by forests each year. In order to keep our global average temperatures at 1.5°C, action needs to ramp up to diminish deforestation. One solution is to open up funding and participation to the private sector and bridge their efforts with that of the public sector.

Swift action is required in order to slow deforestation and decelerate rising average temperatures. See how The LEAF Coalition, a public-private initiative is accelerating climate action by providing results-based finance to countries committed to protecting tropical forests.

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