According to Credit Suisse, a multinational financial services company, global wealth has grown 68 percent to an all-time high of $241 trillion. In their annual publication entitled ‘World Wealth Report’, the US accounted for three quarters of the increase.
The top 1 percent of the world’s population own 46 percent of all global assets with the growth in global wealth reaching 40 percent by 2018 to $334 trillion.
The richest nations, with wealth per adult of more than $100,000, are concentrated in North America, Western Europe and among the rich Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern countries.
However, two thirds of adults in the world have assets worth less than $10,000 and together account for just 3 percent of global wealth.
Credit Suisse said there were 98,700 individuals with net worth exceeding $50 million, more than half of them in the United States. Europe ranked second, is home to nearly 25,000.
The biggest emerging markets, the so-called BRIC nations – Brazil, Russia, India, and China – are each estimated to have around 5,830 such ultra-high net worth individuals.
The number of billionaires in the BRICs has risen from 5 percent of the world’s total in 2000 to 19 percent in 2010. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of billionaires in China alone rose from 1 to 64, the study showed.
China holds barely 9 percent of global wealth while accounting for more than a fifth of the global adult population.
Average global wealth has hit a peak of $51,600 per adult but the spread remains very uneven, with the richest 10 percent owning 86 percent of the wealth, analysts at the Credit Suisse Research Institute said.
The average adult wealth in Switzerland was the highest, amounting to $513,000 followed by Australia ($403,000), Norway ($380,000) and Luxembourg ($315,000)
Since mid-2012, the number of millionaires worldwide has risen by nearly two million, the vast majority of them in the United States, the report said. By contrast, Japan lost 1.2 million millionaires during the same period.