A new report from Credit Suisse has found that individuals with assets worth more than $50 million, referred to as “ultra high net worth” (UHNW) individuals, rose to a record high last year.
Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Report, published on Tuesday, found that the number of UHNW individuals globally grew by 46,000 in 2021 to a total of 218,200.
While low- to middle-income families struggled to cope with the recent high food and energy prices, many ultra-wealthy individuals benefited from the rise in housing prices and a booming stock market.
Meanwhile, families saw most of their savings wiped away due to the COVID-1[ads1]9 pandemic, causing them to take on higher levels of debt.
“The strong increase in financial assets resulted in an increase in inequality in 2021,” says the report, which says that “global wealth inequality has fallen this century due to the faster growth achieved in emerging markets.”
Forty-six thousand UHNW individuals also saw their wealth double by 50 percent over the two-year period.
“This is 46,000 more than the 218,200 recorded at the end of 2020, which was again 43,400 higher than in 2019. These increases are more than double the increase recorded in any other year this century,” the report states. “Together, that means the number of adults with wealth above $50 million increased by more than 50% over a two-year period.”
The report also established that the rise in macroeconomic activity in a low interest rate environment has created favorable conditions for household wealth last year.
This comes as the number of US-based millionaires increased by 2.5 million last year, bringing the total in the country to 62.5 million. The United States currently has the largest number of millionaires in the world.
China, home to 10 percent of the world’s millionaires, comes in second, followed by Japan, Great Britain and France.