The number of rich people in the world rose at a rapid pace last year, boosted by a rise in the stock market and house prices.
As many as 5.2 million people became millionaires last year, with nearly half in the US alone, according to Credit Suisse’s latest annual wealth report.
“This is the biggest increase in millionaires recorded for any country in any year this century,” it said.
Worldwide, the total number of millionaires was 62.5 million by the end of 2021, Credit Suisse estimated.
The report, released on Tuesday, found that total global wealth stood at $463.6 trillion at the end of last year, an increase of 9.8%.
Not surprisingly, the top two economies – the US and China – saw the biggest gains in household wealth, followed by Canada, India and Australia.
Each country was likely to be helped by significant increases in economic output in 2021, coupled with “robust” activity in their respective housing or equity markets, the bank said.
This once again exacerbated global inequality, which has already worsened significantly throughout the pandemic.
2020 saw a historic setback in the fight against global poverty, with the number of the world’s poorest rising for the first time in over 20 years, according to the World Bank.
While overall poverty has since fallen back slightly, the institution estimates that tens of millions more people may still live in extreme poverty this year than previously thought, “due to the lingering effects of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and rising inflation.”
This is in stark contrast to the world’s most fortunate, although they are not immune to these factors.
Last year, the wealth share of the top 1% rose “for the second year in a row,” Credit Suisse said in its report. These people accounted for 45.6% of the world’s wealth in 2021.