Where the World's Millionaires Live: The Top 10 Countries

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You can’t keep
the rich down for long. Global wealth made a remarkable comeback
in 2009, increasing by 11.5% to $111.5 trillion. That’s according
to a new report, The
Boston Consulting Group’s Global Wealth 2010 Report
, released
Thursday by Boston Consulting Group. The report breaks down wealth
by region and by country, creating a geographic portrait of where
the world’s wealth is accumulating and at what rate.

North America
posted the largest absolute gain in households with assets under
management. Its wealth totaled $4.6 trillion (a 15% jump over 2008).
But the largest percentage gain occurred in Asia-Pacific, where
wealth skyrocketed by 22%, or $3.1 trillion. That’s nearly double
the global rate.

Latin American
household asset growth rose by 16% to $3.4 billion, and Europe,
despite the massive debt problems it now faces, was the wealthiest
region with more than $37 trillion in assets under management, an
increase of 8.8% from 2008.

Millionaires
Hold 38% of Global Wealth

Boston Consulting
Group’s report includes a revealing list countries with the highest
percentage of millionaire households, but before getting to that,
here are some interesting tidbits: The number of millionaire households
in the world represents less than 1% of all households. Even so,
these most fortunate ones owned about 38% of the world’s wealth
in 2009, up from 36% in 2008. In North America, Africa and the Middle
East, millionaire households represented more than half of the wealth
in those regions.

Another juicy
morsel: The number of millionaire households rose by 14% in 2009
to 11.2 million, and the U.S. had by far the most millionaire households,
with 4.7 million.

But that doesn’t
mean millionaires are crowding U.S. streets or that sumptuous yachts
dominate the nation’s waterways. In fact, you’re more likely to
find those conditions in Singapore, which had the highest percentage
of millionaire households in the world.

Yes, that
puts Singapore at the top of Boston Consulting Group list
of
the top 10 countries with the greatest proportion of millionaire
households. You may be surprised by the full run-down:

1) Singapore
Population: 4.7 million
Percentage of Millionaire Households: 11.4%

Who would think
the tiny Republic of Singapore would be crammed with so many millionaires?
The country, all of just 247 square miles, has emerged from the
recession and has rebounded in a big way. Its GDP, exports and manufacturing
are all rising, and so, too, are home prices. That has led Singapore
to boast the highest concentration of millionaires anywhere on the
planet. Among its very rich: Ng Teng Fong, a real estate tycoon,
and Wee Cho Yaw, who runs United Overseas Bank, one of Singapore’s
big lenders.

2) Hong
Kong

Population: 7.1 million
Percentage of Millionaire Households: 8.8%

Hong Kong,
the home of Li Ka-shing, who runs conglomerates Cheung Kong and
Hutchison Whampoa, had 205,000 millionaire households in 2009 and
takes the number two spot for percentage of millionaire households.
Hong Kong’s close relationship with mainland China brings benefits
and risks, but it’s been good for many of the wealthiest, who made
their money by investing in a real estate market that has no shortage
of swanky hotels and malls.

3) Switzerland
Population: 7.6 million
Percentage of Millionaire Households: 8.4%

The Swiss economy
is recovering from slow growth during the recession, but a good
many of its citizens thrived during the upswing, bringing it to
third place in percentage of millionaire households. The country
boasts 285,000 of them, up 19.5% from 2008. Driving the recovery:
manufacturing, rising exports and consumer spending. Among the country’s
rich: Swiss biotech tycoon Ernesto Bertarelli, who is, perhaps,
better known for winning the America’s Cup in 2003.

Read
the rest of the article

June
14, 2010

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