The number of millionaires worldwide grew by nearly 2 million last year and the rich have become even richer. A new wealth report shows that their fortunes rose on rising stock markets and improving economies.
The number of people across the world, who have $1 million (730,000 euros) or more to invest, rose 15 percent to 13.7 million in 2013, according the World Wealth Report released by Capgemini and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) on Wednesday.
Their combined wealth increased to $52.62 trillion, the report said, which marked five years of growth since 2008.
Most of the world's millionaires live in North America. The Asia-Pacific region is a close second, but expected to overtake North America in 2014. The report said that the region would be led by surging wealth in Japan, where stock and real estate markets had gained. Moreover, the number of Chinese millionaires was expected to increase rapidly on the back of continuing growth.
According to Capgemini data, the United States has the most millionaires, at 4 million, followed by Japan with 2.3 million. Germany is third with 1.1 million, followed by China with 758,000. Those four countries were home to about 60 percent of the world's wealthy, the organization said.
In 2013, the millionaires included 128,300 "ultra" high net worth individuals, who had more than $30 million of assets to invest. This segment, while only 0.9 percent of the wealthy population, holds 34.6 percent of the group's combined wealth.
The World Wealth Report was based on a survey of more than 4,500 high net worth individuals across 23 countries. It also noted that 2013 saw the second-fastest growth in the number of millionaires since 2000.
uhe/jm (dpa, Reuters)