Economy

The Countries with the Most Multimillionaires

5. China
> Ultra-high net worth population: 10,675
> 1-yr. change: -5.1%
> 2012 GDP per capita: $9,162
> 2012 population: 1.3 billion
> 2012 GDP: $12.6 trillion

The number of ultra-wealthy Chinese residents fell by 5% between 2012 and 2013. This coincided with large declines in the number of ultra-high net worth residents in several of China’s large cities. The country’s economic growth has slowed recently, and it is projected to continue down that path. China is now under new leadership, however, and President Xi Jinping has pledged to rebalance the Chinese economy by increasing consumer spending. A 2012 Bloomberg News series, “Revolution to Riches,” noted that many of China’s very wealthy citizens and leaders, including Xi Jinping, are “princelings,” or well-connected relatives of past leaders in China’s communist party.

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4. United Kingdom
> Ultra-high net worth population: 10,910
> 1-yr. change: 3.8%
> 2012 GDP per capita: $36,941
> 2012 population: 63 million
> 2012 GDP: $2.4 trillion

The United Kingdom has just more than 10,910 ultra-high net worth individuals, of whom 6,360 live in London, the European city with the most ultra-wealthy individuals. The U.K. GDP rose only slightly in 2012. In better news for the economy, Wealth-X notes that Chancellor George Osborne’s “Help-to-Buy” program, which offers government loans to home buyers, has pushed up home prices, which has benefited the country’s wealthy population. Additionally, the United Kingdom’s benchmark stock index, the FTSE 100, is currently close to all-time highs and has risen 13.7% in the past year. There are an estimated 135 billionaires in the United Kingdom.

3. Japan
> Ultra-high net worth population: 14,270
> 1-yr. change: 11.2%
> 2012 GDP per capita: $36,266
> 2012 population: 127 million
> 2012 GDP: $4.7 trillion

After a long recession, economic growth may be on the horizon for Japan. Alongside the potential return to growth and a surging stock market, the number of ultra-wealthy individuals in Japan jumped by 11.2%. The cumulative wealth of such individuals also rose 12.5%, versus an increase of 5.4% for Asia (excluding the Middle East). However, Japan faces considerable uncertainty going forward, especially regarding the country’s aggressive plans to spur economic growth through inflation — called “Abenomics” — and a planned nationwide sales tax hike. Japan also faces a massive debt burden, totaling an estimated 238% of GDP as of 2012, according to the IMF.

2. Germany
> Ultra-high net worth population: 17,820
> 1-yr. change: 13.0%
> 2012 GDP per capita: $39,028
> 2012 population: 81 million
> 2012 GDP: $3.3 trillion

Germany added more than 2,000 ultra-high net worth individuals in the past year. Additionally, four of the 10 cities with the highest populations of extremely wealthy individuals are in Germany. Despite a recent decline in exports, the country still remains a major exporter and continues to run a large trade surplus. However, the country narrowly avoided falling into a recession in 2012, and GDP growth is expected to be slow through 2013. While women make up just 6% of the nation’s ultra-high net worth individuals, they account for 15% of all wealth held by the ultra-wealthy. Germany’s richest woman, Susanne Klatten, is worth $14.3 billion, according to Forbes’ billionaires listing.

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1. United States
> Ultra-high net worth population: 65,505
> 1-yr. change: 8.7%
> 2012 GDP per capita: $49,922
> 2012 population: 316 million
> 2012 GDP: $15.9 trillion

The U.S. has more ultra-rich residents than any other country in the world, and accounts for nearly a third of the ultra-high net worth population, with more than 65,000 at last count. For comparison: China, Germany, India, Japan and the United Kingdom together have less than 62,000 ultra-high net worth residents. New York City is home to more than 8,000 ultra-wealthy residents, far more than any city in Europe. Los Angeles and San Francisco each fall slightly short of 5,000. The combined wealth of America’s ultra-high net worth residents was more than $9 trillion.