World’s ultra-wealthy population shrinks for the first time since 2018
The world’s ultra-wealthy population has shrunk for the first time since 2018 as America lost nearly 7,000 of its richest citizens. ‘Ultra-high net worth’ (UHNW) individuals are defined as anybody with over $30 million to their name. The landmark ‘World Ultra Wealth’ report by Altrata and Wealth-X found that the global UHNW population contracted by 5.4 percent to 395,070 people in 2022 – the steepest fall since 2015.
It marked a reversal of fortunes from 2021 when the number of super-wealthy citizens swelled. Research by property consultants Knight Frank found the UHNW population grew by 9.3 percent in 2021. Experts said the latest decline only ‘partially’ reversed these gains. And the trend was driven by Asia and Europe, with the US still accounting for the lion’s share of ultra-wealthy residents. Together American’s wealthiest have a collective worth of $15.1 trillion. It was followed by China and Germa ny whose wealthiest residents share $5.3 trillion and $2.3 trillion respectively. Some five cities of the top ten with the highest UHNW populations were located in America. New York came in second to Hong Kong, with 11,845 of its residents owning more than $30 million. Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago came in fourth, fifth and sixth respectively. Washington DC was tenth on the list.
The report noted that America had fared better than most countries, losing less wealth than the global average – something which ‘consolidated its status as by the far the world’s largest wealth market.’ Researchers noted they had remained ‘cautious optimism’ about the global wealth market. ‘Following a period of robust global wealth creation in 2019-21, wealth preservation became the primary focus for many UHNW individuals in 2022. ‘The world economy showed a degree of resilience over the first half of 2023, with Europe avoiding a predicted deep recession, and US and Chinese consumer activity being stronger than anticipated. Providing this “cautious optimism” continues.’ As a result, it estimated that the global population would increase to 528,100 by 2027, up by 133,000 from today.
The US has been dogged by economic turbulence since the end of the pandemic. Stocks in the S&P 500 index ended 2022 18 percent down from where they were at the start of the year. However, the market has managed to rally, with the S&P 500 surging by 16.71 percent in the first half of the year. And the US has managed to tame rampant global inflation more successfully than the rest of the world. The Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes – which has sent rates to a 22-year high – has managed to bring the rate of annual inflation down to 3.2 percent, down from a high of 9 percent in summer 2022. It meant that this week economists at Goldman Sachs slashed their predictions of the US entering a recession from 20 to 15 percent. Read the full story:
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