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TheStreet Open House

World’s Ultra Wealthy Population Reaches All-Time Record

Despite ongoing economic and geopolitical uncertainties, the world’s ultra wealthy population reached an all-time high of 199,235 individuals with a combined fortune of nearly US$28 trillion in 2013, growing by more than six percent in population size from the previous year and adding US$2 trillion to their combined wealth, greater than the GDP of India.

The Wealth-X and UBS World Ultra Wealth Report 2013 released today also identified more than 2,000 billionaires globally with a total net worth of US$6.5 trillion, equal to 23 percent of the world’s ultra high net worth (UHNW) total wealth. This is more than any other wealth tier despite making up only one percent of the UHNW population.

The report defines UHNW individuals as those with total net assets of US$30 million and above.

Other key findings from the report:

  • Growth was largely due to North America and Europe, with the two regions responsible for a net gain of nearly 10,000 UHNW individuals and a total increase in wealth of US$1.5 trillion.
  • China and Brazil, the fourth and seventh wealthiest UHNW nations in the world, saw a contraction in their UHNW populations and wealth due to economic slowdowns in these countries.
  • Asia rebounded from last year’s contraction, when there were 42,895 UHNW individuals in the region. As of 2013, there are 44,505 UHNW individuals in Asia with a combined wealth of US$6.5 trillion, an increase of 5.4 percent from the previous year.
  • Although the United States and Europe grew faster than Asia in the past 12 months, Asia will produce more UHNW individuals and wealth than both regions in the next five years.
  • The report forecasts that at current growth rates, Asia’s ultra wealthy population and wealth will eclipse that of Europe in 2021 and 2017 respectively. Asia will have a larger UHNW population by 2032 and have a greater total wealth by 2024.
  • Latin America was the only region to suffer a decline, with both its UHNW population and total wealth falling, by 600 individuals and US$75 billion respectively.
  • The global UHNW population continues to be dominated by men, who form 88 percent of the total population. Female UHNW individuals make up the remaining 12 percent, or 23,505 individuals globally. Self-made individuals, forming 65 percent of the population, outnumber individuals who inherited their wealth.
  • The average wealth of an UHNW individual has risen to US$139 million, up US$1.8 million from last year.

Wealth-X quote on the significance of the report

“The Wealth-X and UBS World Ultra Wealth Report 2013 is based on the depth and breadth of our research and analysis from our database, which enables us to provide the most insightful intelligence on the world’s UHNW population for individuals and organisations to make important decisions,” Wealth-X CEO Mykolas D. Rambus said.

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