According to Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Report, “the recovery of macroeconomic activity in a low-interest environment produced exceptionally favorable conditions for household wealth growth in 2021.”
“We estimate that global wealth totalled $463.6tn at the end of 2021, a rise of $41.4tn (9.8%),” the report said. “Wealth per adult grew by $6,800 (8.4%) during the course of the year to reach $87,489, close to three times the level recorded at the turn of the century.”
Anthony Shorrocks, an economics professor and an author of the report, said there had been “almost an explosion of wealth last year Probably higher than any other year we have ever recorded”.
Wealth growth has not been distributed fairly. For the second year in a row, the richest 1% of the global population increased their share of total global wealth to 46%, up from 44% in 2020.
The number of US dollar millionaires increased by 5.2 million during 2021 to a total of 62.5 million just under the 67 million population of the UK. Shorrocks said the number of millionaires was becoming so large that it was becoming “an increasingly irrelevant measure of wealth”.
More than one-third of millionaires live in the United States, which has 24.5 million millionaires, or 39% of the world’s total.
The number of millionaires in the United States increased by 2.5 million, accounting for nearly half of all new millionaires worldwide. “This is the largest increase in millionaire numbers recorded for any country in any year this century and confirms the rapid rise in millionaire numbers seen in the United States since 2016,” according to the report.
China is in second place, with 10% of the world’s millionaires, ahead of Japan with 5.4%, the UK (4.6%), and France (4.5%).
Switzerland was named the richest country in terms of mean average wealth per adult, with $700,000, surpassing the United States, which had $579,000.
However, when the median average wealth per adult is examined, the inequalities in those countries are highlighted. Switzerland drops to sixth place with a median wealth of $168,000, while the United States falls to 18th place with $93,000. Australia ranks first in the world in terms of median wealth, with $274,000.
UK adults have a mean wealth of $309,000 (14th place) and a median wealth of $142,000 (ninth place).
The country with the biggest jump in mean average wealth was New Zealand, which saw a $114,000 average increase to $472,000.
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