Home / Business News & Opinions / China’s Top 10% Flip Rich Switch in a First to Outnumber Wealthy Americans
3 min read

China’s Top 10% Flip Rich Switch in a First to Outnumber Wealthy Americans

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:11 PM
Mark Emem
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:11 PM

For the first time ever, the Chinese outnumbered the Americans among the top 10% of the wealthiest people in the world.

While the US boasted of 99 million people  featuring in the global top 10%, China had 100 million of them, according to Credit Suisse. Relative to a country’s population however, the US still beat China. Individuals and households featuring in the top 10% have to be worth at least $100,000.

Wealth pyramid | Source: Credit Suisse

Given China’s population size, the figures do not paint an accurate picture though. In the U.S. about 30% of the population were featured among the world’s top 10% while for China it was just 7% of its population. Based on the World Bank’s population figures , China has a population of 1.39 billion while the US has a population of 327 million.

US still beating China in churning out millionaires

More Chinese entered the top 10% bracket but the US still beat China with regards to minting millionaires. The number of new US millionaires created in the last one year per mid-2019 estimates was 675,000. This brought the total to 18.6 million, or about one millionaire for every 17 Americans. The rest of the world, including China, added 425,000 millionaires. Currently, China boasts of 4.4 million millionaires, or about one millionaire for every 315 Chinese.

The trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies have also not prevented them from leading the rest of the world in wealth creation. The US contributed $3.8 trillion in wealth creation while China contributed $1.9 trillion. Wealth per adult in the US went up by $11,980.

What about the rest of the world?

Global wealth rose by 2.6% to $360 trillion. In the next half a decade, global wealth is expected to rise by 27% to $459 trillion. During the same period, the number of global millionaires is expected to grow to nearly 63 million. Currently the number of millionaires stands at 46.8 million.

While the US and China added millionaires, some parts of the world recorded a decline. Australia for instance recorded a decline of 124,000 and this was primarily attributed to currency fluctuations. Other countries that saw the number of millionaires decline included UK and Turkey which lost 27,000 and 24,000 millionaires respectively.

Global household wealth increased at the highest rate in India (5.2%) and South America (4.9%).

Europe and the Asia-Pacific region recorded the lowest levels of global household wealth growth – 1.2% and 1.3% respectively.