Global wealth up 9.8% YoY at $463.6 trn in 2021; India, China lead the way

India witnessed a 12 per cent year-on-year (YoY) jump in total household wealth last year, at $14,225 billion, according to the Global Wealth Report 2022 by Credit Suisse.

The report also forecasts the number of millionaires in the country to more than double from 796,000 in 2021 to 1.6 million in 2026.

According to the report, which is based on data for the wealth holdings of 5.3 billion adults across nearly 200 countries, global household wealth rose 9.8 per cent in 2021 to $463.6 trillion, driven by widespread gains in share prices and a favourable environment created by central bank policies in 2020 to lower interest rates but at the cost of inflationary pressure.

Wealth per adult (globally) was up 8.4 per cent to reach $87,489 at year-end, the study said.

The top 1 per cent owned 46 per cent of all household assets, while the richest 10 per cent of adults had 82 per cent of global wealth.

The US had the highest number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNW; those with more than $50 million) — over 140,000 — followed by China, with 32,710.

These amounts, Credit Suisse said, were reduced due to exchange rate fluctuations. Had the exchange rates remained the same as seen in 2020, it estimates total wealth globally would have grown by 12.7 per cent and wealth per adult by 11.3 per cent in 2021.

“Our five-year outlook is for wealth to continue growing, with global wealth to increase by $169 trillion by 2026.” Credit Suisse said.

The report also projects wealth per adult climbing 28 per cent globally and surpassing $100,000 in 2024. The number of UHNW individuals will reach 385,000.

Credit Suisse expects emerging economies to narrow the gap with the developed world in the next five years.

Fortunes will climb 10 per cent annually in EMs, compared with a 4.2 per cent rise in high-income nations.

Region-wise split

All regions contributed to the rise in global wealth, Credit Suisse said, but North America and China dominated.

While North America accounted for a little over half the global total, China added another quarter.

Africa, Europe, India and Latin America together accounted for 11.1 per cent of global wealth growth.

“On a country basis, the US added the most household wealth in 2021, followed by China, Canada, India and Australia.

“Wealth losses were less common and almost always associated with currency depreciation against the dollar.

“Analysis of median wealth within countries and across the world shows that global wealth inequality has fallen this century due to faster growth achieved in EMs,” said Anthony Shorrocks, the report author.

While Switzerland still ranks highest in terms of wealth per adult at $696,600, followed by the US, Hong Kong and Australia, the more relevant median wealth per adult criterion places Australia, Belgium and New Zealand in the top three positions.

The number of UHNW expanded at a much faster rate, adding 21 per cent new members in 2021 globally.

“Worldwide, we estimate that there were 62.5 million millionaires at the end of 2021, 5.2 million more than the year before,” the report said.

Zuckerberg loses $71 billion this year

Mark Zuckerberg’s pivot into the metaverse has cost him dearly.

Even in a rough year for just about every US tech titan, the wealth erased from the chief executive officer of Meta Platforms stands out.

His fortune has been cut in half and then some, dropping by $71 billion so far this year, the most among the ultra-rich tracked by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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