The top 0.1 percent of ultra high net worth individuals now account for more than one-third of all wealth held by the world’s richest people, new research show.
The “World Wealth Report” for 2015, published by Cap Gemini and RBC Wealth Management, focuses is the population of high net worth individuals, or HNWIs. Based on a survey of more than 5,100 wealthy people in 23 major markets, the report is packed with fascinating data and graphics.
Among the report’s key themes and findings:
Tremendous amounts of wealth have been accumulated during the past five years.
Much of this wealth is concentrated in the top 1 percent; and most of that wealth is concentrated in the top 1 percent of the 1 percent.
The very wealthy have a disproportionate impact on policy, investing and the economy.
No big surprises there. However, some of the specific data points were intriguing:
The total global HNWI population is 14.65 million, with total wealth of $56.4 trillion.
The U.S. HNWI population is 4.68 million, with total wealth of $16.23 trillion.
The U.S. as a region is ranked first for HNWI wealth and second for HNWI population, behind the Asia-Pacific region.
Here are a few other points worth considering:
Asia rising: Asia-Pacific overtook North America to become the region with the largest HNWI population at 4.69 million. While the two regions have swapped leadership roles before, the report notes that the growth of the Asia-Pacific region is more of a structural shift than in the past. That implies it is more likely to retain its leadership over the U.S. in terms of the number of wealthy individuals. Asia-Pacific is also likely to surpass North America in total wealth by the end of this year.
HNWI wealth expanded in Asia-Pacific somewhat slower (6.7 percent) than in North America (7.2 percent) in 2014. These were the second slowest rates of growth during the past five years. These two regions were the only ones that outpaced their five- year (2009 to 2014) annualized growth rates of wealth held by the richest people.
Interestingly, India was the fastest growing market for wealthy individuals in 2014, climbing 26 percent, and jumping five places to rank 11th globally.
Ultra-HNWIs: The 1 percent of the 1 percent now account for 35 percent of the wealth held by the richest people.