Number Of Millionaires Hit 10 Million In 2009, No Word On Poor

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According to the Merrill Lynch/ CapGemini “State of the World’s Wealth” report, the number of high net worth individuals rose 17.1% last year to 10 million. Their total assets combined increased 18.9% to $39 trillion. The US, Japan, and Germany accounted for 53.5% of the world’s wealthy, which raises the question of how many really rich people are  in China and Canada.

In regional and country trends:

  • After losing the least in 2008, Latin American wealth surpassed the 2007 levels.
  • Countries from Asia-Pacific region have higher growth rates than other regions.
  • HNWI population in Hong Kong and India increased significantly in 2009, after witnessing the largest drops in HNWI population during the financial crisis.
  • Australia moved up to 10th place in HNWI by overtaking Brazil.

Here is the worthless stat chart that goes with the numbers.

Not included in the study is new information that 115 million of the world’s 245 million widows live in poverty.  Also missing is the statistic that  more than three billion people in the world live on less than $3.50 per day or the World Bank’s estimate that 1.4 billion people live below the poverty line.

The Merrill study is the kind of headline grabbing news that banks, brokerage firms, and business magazines like to give out. The data say that wealth is re-emerging again now that the global recession is over. Stock market prices and real estate prices have recovered. There are 10 million millionaires, a testimony to the ability of those with pluck or inheritance to live long and prosper.

But, in the meantime, there was not any word about the poor.

Douglas A. McIntyre