Top 5 Countries Producing the Most Millionaires (And Why)

Top 5 Countries Producing the Most Millionaires (And Why)

Psst! Here are some of the secrets to making millions across the world!

According to a recent report by investment banking company Credit Suisse, global wealth per adult increased by 8.4% to US$87,489 in 2021. As expected, this growth in wealth isn’t evenly distributed among all of us, with the top 1% of the world holding on to 45.6% of the world’s financial assets. But where do these wealthiest people live, and why did they get so loaded? To make sense of that, here is a list of the top five countries with the highest number of millionaires per capita and why they are a playground for the rich. 

United States 

Topping the list of the world’s most millionaires is the United States, which currently has 24.5 million millionaires—or 39% of the world’s total. It shouldn’t come as a surprise when we consider that some of the services we use every day, like Facebook, Google and Amazon, are all U.S.-based businesses. 

However, besides big companies’ founders, others in the country are becoming millionaires because of their successful investments in the stock market and cryptocurrency. According to Chris Hogan, the author of Everyday Millionaires, the American rich have increased their assets over time through a series of smart financial decisions and aren’t excessively flashy with their wealth. 

China

As a leading tech innovator globally, it naturally makes sense for China to be one of the top countries on this list. The country has 10% of the millionaire share in the world, holding two spots among the top ten Fortune 500 companies with China State Construction Engineering and China National Petroleum. It is also a massive startup ecosystem—home to powerhouses such as ByteDance (the parent company of TikTok) and the smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi

What makes China particularly unique is that it contributes to 60-70% of the world’s self-made female billionaires in the world. Some attributed such a large number of female billionaires to the one-child policy the country instated from 1980 to 2016, which led to fewer career gaps and more opportunities for women.

Japan

Japan has 5.4% of the world’s millionaires as of 2021. It has 3.16 million high-net-worth individuals, which is significant when considering its population of 125.85 million. To put this in perspective, China has 5.3 million high-net-worth individuals but a total population of 1.45 billion. Japan has acquired a spot on this list because of the efforts of the Japanese government to impose regulations and tax codes that encourage direct investment. 

While the number of millionaires in both the U.S. and China has grown in 2021, Japan has experienced a fall in this catory in 2021, with the high-net-worth population shrinking by 395,000. Given its aging population, the fall in the number of millionaires could be due to the strict public health restrictions imposed to keep its people healthy during the pandemic and the resulting reduction in international trade. 

United Kingdom

The U.K. has a 4.6% share of millionaires in the world. They account for 2.85 million of the country’s population. The U.K. has emerged as an attractive place to settle for the global wealthy because it taxes foreign residents only on income they have generated in the country. Besides, it also has low corporate taxes, encouraging foreign investment and allowing the global wealthy to generate returns from their investments at low costs. 

France

The final entry on this list is France, home to the world’s fashion capital. The country has 4.5% of the world’s millionaires, but just like Japan, it has seen a slight fall in this number, losing 26,000 millionaires in 2021. 

Its thriving and leading fashion industry is perhaps one of the biggest reasons France has many millionaires. The country has some of the biggest luxury fashion brands in the world, including Yves Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton and Chanel, which make EUR150 billion (US$150.87 billion) in annual sales. 

While this list tells you countries that have made it to the top five, some others candidates are witnessing tremendous financial growth. One such country is India, where billionaires hold onto 99% of their wealth while the high-net-worth individuals in the rest of the world collectively lost US$1 trillion because of high inflation and interest rates. Another country with high financial potential is Brazil. The country is expected to see a 115% increase in the number of millionaires by 2026. 

As per Credit Suisse’s report, there will be 40% more millionaires across the globe by 2026. This rise in the number of millionaires can largely be ascribed to the post-pandemic hike in housing prices and stock market growth. 

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Header image courtesy of Unsplash

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