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  1. Wealth
September 23, 2022

China’s millionaire population is expected to double in the next five years as global wealth swells

By Katharine Swindells

The number of people worth over $50 million grew 23 per cent during 2021, rising to 264,000 globally according to Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth report.

This is the second year in a row of such strong growth, after the global UHNW population increased by 24 per cent during 2020.

The latest Global Wealth Report from Credit Suisse found that the population of global millionaires also swelled by over five million to reach 62.5 million in 2021. This growth of more than 9 per cent comes on the heels of 13 per cent population growth during 2020.

Of the 62.5m millionaires, 87 per cent are worth up to $5m, and a further 8.6 per cent are worth $5 – $10m. UHNWs (worth $50m+) account for just 0.4 per cent of the global millionaire population, and individuals worth more than $500m make up just 0.01 per cent.

North America is home to the majority of the world’s UHNWs, with 56 per cent living in the US or Canada, and a large proportion of the world’s millionaires too. In comparison, Africa holds just 0.7 per cent of the world’s UHNW population, and 0.6 per cent of the millionaires.

Asia-Pacific countries saw the largest growth in millionaire population, led by New Zealand, where the population grew by 46 per cent up to around 347,000. The US, which holds over a third of the world’s millionaires, saw significant growth in its population of 11 per cent , as did the UK. China, the world’s second-biggest country for millionaires, saw growth of 20 per cent.

In contrast, Japan, the third largest millionaire population globally, saw its population fall by 10.5 per cent, down to 3.4 million. The country that saw the largest decrease in its millionaire population, where the ranks fell by a third down to 73,000.

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Globally, Credit Suisse anticipates continued growth in the millionaire demographic over the next five years, projecting that the global population will increase by 40 per cent, up to 87.6m, by 2026.

While the US and wider North America are anticipated modest growth - 13 per cent and 16 per cent respectively, Credit Suisse forecasts it is Asia and the developing world that will drive the growth. 

China is forecast to double its millionaire population by 2026, up to 12.2 million. And Latin America and Africa, although starting from comparatively low numbers, are projected to see their millionaire ranks double and triple, respectively.

[Click here to see how attitudes to wealth are changing around the world]

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