12 million new millionaires will be minted over the next five years

Report says rate of growth for new millionaires will rise from 2 per cent to six per cent annually

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 November, 2016, 11:30am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 November, 2016, 11:30am

The world is about to mint a whole new batch of millionaires.

After experiencing modest growth over 2015, the global millionaire count is seen rising at a faster clip over the next five years, a new report has found.

According to the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report, released Tuesday, the worldwide number of millionaires rose by less than 2 per cent over the past year, to 32.9 million. Credit Suisse predicts that rate of growth will accelerate to about 6 per cent annually — roughly in line with the past 16 years — and lead to a record 45.1 million millionaires by 2021.

The biggest driver of growth has been an overall uptick in global wealth, rather than greater inequality.

“The whole distribution of wealth is shifting as the world becomes a wealthier place, progressively lowering the bar for membership over time,” the report said. “Increasing inequality can also boost the speed at which new millionaires are created, although the fact that wealth inequality is roughly unchanged since the start of the century suggests that inequality was not the primary driver of rising [ultrahigh net worth] numbers at the global level.”

Ultrahigh net worth individuals are those with assets worth more than US$50 million.

The number of people who identify as ultrahigh net worth individuals is also expected to rise over the next five years, climbing from 140,900 to 200,000. The world’s billionaire count is likewise seen increasing, adding 945 people to reach 3,000, according to the report.

The US will add around 4.5 million new millionaires by 2021, bringing its total to 18.1 million. More than half of the world’s ultrahigh net worth individuals will be in North America.

China will add 1.2 million millionaires by 2021, bringing its total to 2.7 million, and ranking the country fourth behind the US, Japan and the UK.