An astonishing 33 people a day are minted as ultra-high net worth individuals with personal fortunes of more than £19 million.
Just over 12,000 wealthy people joined the ranks of the world’s richest individuals in the past 12 months, according to a new report by Swiss bank UBS and market research firm Wealth X.
The number took the ultra-high net worth population up 7% to a record 211,000.
UBS expects the number of the world’s super-rich to hit 250,000 within five years if the current rate of increase is sustained.
The super-rich control cash and other assets worth more than £20 trillion – almost double the size of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the USA, which is the world’s biggest economy.
Facts about the world’s wealthiest people
The USA is also the country with the largest population of almost 70,000 super-rich, with a combined net worth of more than £6 trillion.
Highlights from the report include:
- Only 0.004% of the world’s population qualify as super-rich, but they control 13% of total global wealth
- Europe is the second wealthiest region, with almost 62,000 super-rich worth a total of £5.3 trillion
- Asia has almost twice as many super-rich as the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and the Pacific combined. Altogether around 46,600 individuals are worth just under £4.5 trillion
- Latin America and the Caribbean have the fewest super-rich – almost 15,000 people worth £1.4 trillion
- The Middle East has 6,000 super-rich individuals worth £630 billion despite having massive oil reserves estimated as worth trillions of pounds.
- Super-rich men vastly outnumber women – by six to one. The report counted 184,000 super-rich men and 27,500 women. A quarter of the men are in banking and finance, while nearly half of the women inherited their wealth.
- Almost two-thirds of the super-rich are self-made, while only 17% inherited their wealth.
Risk to the richest
“This is the most complete and detailed study of the world’s super rich,” said Simon Smiles, chief investment officer for ultra-high net worth clients for UBS Wealth Management.
“One factor that comes out of the report is the super-rich have two-thirds of their wealth tied up in their core businesses, which puts them at risk if something goes wrong. This report has helped us identify this problem and find solutions for our customers.”
Download the World Ultra Wealthy Report