How Many High Wealth Individuals?

How many people in the world have a million dollars or more in financial assets? That is, leave aside the value of real estate or other owned property. Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management provide some estimates in a report that seeks to define the global market for the wealth management industry, the World Wealth Report 2013.

The report splits High Net Worth Individual (HNWI, natch) into three categories. Those with $1 million to $5 million in financial assets are in the "millionaire next door" category, and while I find that name a bit grating, it's fair enough. After all, a substantial number of of households in high-income countries that are near retirement, if they have been steadily saving throughout their working life, will have accumulated $1 million or more. The next step up is those with $5 million to $30 million in financial assets, who this report calls the "mid-tier millionaires." At the top, with more than $30 million in financial assets are the "ultra-HNWI" individuals. Here's the global distribution:

A few quick observations:

1) The "ultra-HNWI" individuals are less than1% of the total HNWI population, but have  35% of the total assets of this group. The "millionaires next door"  with $1 million to $5 million are 90% of the high net worth individual population, and have 42.8% of the total net worth of this group.

2) Another table in the report shows that 3.4 million of the high-net worth individuals--about 28% of the total--are in the United States.  The next four countries for number of people in the high net worth category are Japan (1.9 million), Germany (1.0 million), and China (643,000) and the UK, (465,000).

3) World population is about 7 billion. So the 12 million or so high net worth individuals are about one-sixth of 1% of the world population.
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