The number of millionaires is growing rapidly and is concentrated largely in the U.S. By comparison, overall the wealth growth since the millennium – $139 trillion – appears to have been slow since the Great Recession, according to a report released by the Credit Suisse Research Institute.

More Millionaires

The number of millionaires in the world has increased by 155%, while the number of ultra high net worth individuals (defined in the report as people with a net worth above US $50 million) increased by 216%. Of the latter, 51% reside in North America. According to a forecast included in the report, the U.S. will have the highest growth of millionaires in the world over the next five years.

How big? The number of U.S. households with a net worth of $1 million or more, not including primary residence (NIPR), increased by 400,000 to reach a record 10.8 million in 2016. (See also: How Much to Save to Become a Millionaire.)

In the U.S., there are 13.6 million people with $1 million or more in wealth, up 283,000 from last year. By the year 2021 the number of millionaires will reach 18 million – a 33% increase – significantly higher than any other country. Another report by Spectrem Group released in March, 2017, suggests that the number is even higher, the number of U.S. households with a net worth of $1 million or more (not including primary residence) increased by 400,000 in 2016.

Credit Suisse also suggests that inequality in the U.S. is on the rise. Although the average wealth is $345,000, the median wealth is only $30,000, a significant drop from last year and three times as low as countries with similar average wealth.

Global Wealth

In the UK, 406,000 people now find themselves outside the millionaire’s club, after US $1.5 trillion was wiped from the country's household wealth. The decline is largely blamed on Brexit. Overall global wealth has grown 5.2% annually in terms of USD since the year 2000 – a modest growth, according to the report. In dollar terms wealth has grown by $139 trillion; by comparison, the estimated GDP of the entire world in 2015 is US $73.2 trillion.

 
 
 

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