Wealth Blog

Growth in Chinese millionaires slowest in five years

Guangdong second richest province

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 August, 2013, 2:17pm
UPDATED : Friday, 16 August, 2013, 2:17pm

Guangdong in southern China is now the province with the second highest number of super- wealthy individuals, while Tianjin saw the fastest increase in millionaire numbers of any mainland city last year.

One out of every 1,300 people in China is now a “millionaire”, with personal wealth of over Renminbi 10 million (HK$12.6 million) and one out of every 20,000 is in the super rich bracket, with personal riches of RMB 100m (HK$126 million).

The total number of mainland millionaires, excluding Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau has increased by 30,000 from last year to 1.05 million by December 2012, while the number of the super-rich increased by 1,000 to 64,500 – an increase of 3% and 2% respectively.

In the super-super rich bracket, there are 8,100 RMB billionaires and 280 individuals with personal assets of 10 billion RMB (HK$12.6 billion) in China. But on average the wealthy spent only 3% of their average wealth of 59 million RMB (HK$74 million) last year.

These are the findings of the 2013 GroupM Knowledge-Hurun Wealth Report, compiled by the Hurun Research Institute and GroupM Knowledge. The report shows the rate of growth is the slowest in five years and has decelerated for the second consecutive year.

While Beijing has the most super-wealthy, with 184,000 millionaires, up 5,000 on last year, and 10,700 super-rich, up 200; Guangdong comes a close second with 172,000 millionaires and 9,200 super-rich. Shanghai is third, with 147,000 millionaires and 8,500 super rich. This year Tianjin rises to tenth place, with 19,000 millionaires, up 11% from the previous year, as well as 1,400 super rich, up 12% - the fastest increase in all the cities.

Other fast-growing provinces include Shandong, Henan, Yunan, Guizhou, Qinghai and Tibet. The report shows that about 60% of China’s wealthy population live in second and third tier cities such as Hangzhou, Ningbo and Foshan, where the number of millionaires exceeds 20,000. Millionaire numbers in Zhejiang Province and Inner Mongolia dropped the most.

Money breeds happiness

The Hurun millionaires’ happiness index has recorded happiness of 7.8 out of 10 for the super-rich. The index is based on family, work, health and personal life, with respondents asked to rate their happiness from 0 to 10. Health matters most to them, but a quarter say they are unhappy with their health. This year 73% of China’s millionaires think they are happier than the previous generation; the happiness they get from their family is greater than that from their jobs. The female millionaires’ happiness index has reached eight, slightly higher than men and the under 30s score lower than older rich people.

The index finds 30% of millionaires are dissatisfied with their work-life balance, and some 20% of rich women have trouble sleeping.

Report highlights:

  • China’s millionaires fall into four categories: private business owners, stock market gurus, property speculators and high-salaried executives, in which the number of stock market gurus dropped by 5% from the previous year, and the number of executives grew by 5% year on year. The Chinese super-rich fall into three categories: private business owners, stock market gurus, and property speculators.
  • Real estate is still first choice for personal investment, accounting for 64% of all investments.  
  • The wealthy spent 3% of their average wealth of 59 million RMB last year and 3% of their spending went to travel. Wealthy people increasingly seek unique travel experiences, and exotic destinations such as Africa or the polar areas.
  • On average, millionaires and the super-rich took shorter business trips than last year, a reduction of half a day and three days respectively. On average, millionaires leave China 2.8 times a year, down from three times last year and the super-rich leave China 3.4 times a year, down from 4.2 times last year.
  • Following the overseas study craze, comes the rush to buy overseas property, with US real estate the top choice.
  • The report analyses China’s wealthy, broken down according to their regional distribution across China, as well as their investment, consumption preferences, and how they use the media.