Soon the top 1% will own half the money in the world.
A new report by Boston Consulting Group has found that the world's millionaires are on track to control a majority of the world's wealth quite soon. Of the $166.5 trillion in global private assets, 45% is currently owned by the world's 17.9 million millionaire households.
By 2021, the report's authors expect that number to tip over the halfway mark to 51%.
This is a record breaking concentration of money, one in which North America leads the way. According to BCG's findings, 60% of the wealth in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico is held by top-1% households, by far the largest concentration worldwide. By contrast, Western Europe and Japan are the most egalitarian places to live, with 70 and 77% (respectively) of private assets held by households worth less than $1 million.
In fact, the only region which comes even close to North America's inequality is Africa and the Middle East, where millionaire households control 56% of private wealth.
Those are the facts. So what are the takeaways?
This is a global phenomenon driven by regional issues
The first lesson from BCG's report is that, despite the headline number, this is a far more regional phenomenon than it appears.
As noted above, North America has the most extreme results when it comes to concentration of wealth. Across Asia-Pacific, Japan, Latin America and Western Europe millionaire households own less than half the regional wealth, a cross-section which accounts for most of the world's countries and population.