Looking for the world’s wealthy? Go east, young man. That’s the conclusion of the Capgemini-Merrill Lynch annual survey of high-net-worth individuals, which found that Asia’s burgeoning affluent population overtook Europe’s rich in 2010.
The World Wealth Report 2011 counted 3.3 million affluent individuals in Asia, close behind the top affluent region, North America, with 3.4 million high-net-worth individuals. For the first time in the survey’s 20-plus-year history, Europe slipped to the No. 3 spot, with 3.1 million rich people. Asia was able to eclipse Europe in 2010 because of a 9.7% increase in its number of wealthy individuals, compared to 6.3% growth rate in Europe. North America’s high-net-worth population grew by 8.6%.
Worldwide, 2010 was a good year for the world’s wealthy, who increased at an overall rate of 8.3% to number 10.9 million; their wealth grew by 9.7% to $42.7 trillion, surpassing the previous peak in 2007, before the economic crisis. The ultra-high-net worth population did even better, their ranks growing by 10.2% and their wealth by 11.5%.