A new Credit Suisse report has found that people with assets worth more than $50 million, known as “ultra-high net worth” (UHNW) individuals, hit a record high last year.
Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Report, released Tuesday, found that the number of UHNWs globally grew by 46,000 in 2021 to a total of 218,200.
As low- to middle-income families struggled to cope with recently soaring food and energy prices, many ultra-rich people benefited from rising home prices and a booming stock market.
Meanwhile, families saw most of their savings disappear due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading them to incur more debt.
“The strong rise in financial assets translated into rising inequality in 2021,” says the report, which states that “global wealth inequality has fallen this century due to faster growth achieved in emerging markets.”
Forty-six thousand UHNWs also saw their wealth double by 50 percent in the two-year period.
“This is 46,000 more than the 218,200 recorded at the end of 2020, which in turn was 43,400 more than in 2019. These increases are more than double the increases recorded in any other year this century,” the report says. “Taken together, it means that the number of adults with wealth greater than $50 million increased by more than 50% over a two-year period.”
The report also indicated that the recovery of macroeconomic activity in a low interest environment has created favorable conditions for household wealth last year.
This comes as the number of US-based millionaires rose by 2.5 million last year, bringing the total number in the country to 62.5 million. The United States currently has the largest number of millionaires in the world.
China, which is home to 10 percent of the world’s millionaires, ranks second, followed by Japan, the United Kingdom and France.