The number of millionaires in Asia grew to surpass the number of millionaires in North America in 2014, according to the recently released World Wealth Report by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management.
Asia’s total to 4.69 million millionaires was slightly more than North America’s 4.68 million. Coming in third was Europe, with 4 million millionaires. The survey found that 14.6 million people, or 0.2% of the global population, have a net worth above US$1 million, and that they account for US$56.4 trillion of global wealth.
While Asia may have more millionaires, its larger population means less millionaires per capita than in North America. And while Asia’s millionaires control US$15.8 trillion of wealth, they still trail North America’s US$16.2 trillion. However, the survey estimates that Asia will surpass North America in that measure too by the end of the year.
China and the United States accounted for more than half of the growth in the millionaires club, with 52% of newly inducted members. At 26%, India’s number of millionaires grew the fastest.
Latin America was the only region to experience a decline in number of millionaires and the amount of their wealth, with drops of 2% and 0.5% respectively.
Globally, members of the million club primarily held their wealth in equities (27%) and cash (26%). The study found what it called widespread use of credit, with borrowed money financing 18% of assets held by millionaires in 2014. Strangely, millionaires with a higher net worth of US$20 million or more used credit even more, with borrowed money financing 22% of their assets.
Total net worth of the millionaires club is expected to rise by about 8% annually and reach US$70 trillion by 2017, according to the survey.
This was the 19th year of the annual survey. Based on responses from over 5,100 millionaires from across 23 countries, the survey observes millionaire confidence levels, asset allocation decisions, perspectives on driving social impact, and wealth management advice and service preferences. The survey also queried more than 800 wealth managers from 15 major wealth markets to assess the evolving role of wealth managers.