The Wealth Report: Global High-Wealth Population to Grow 27% Over Next 5 Years

The number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs), those with $30m or more, around the world is predicted to grow by 27% in the next five years to 663,483, according to the recently released 2021 Wealth Report from Douglas Elliman | Knight Frank.

Over the same period, the number of millionaires globally is set to rise by 41%, the report notes.

“Asia is the key wealth story. The US is, and will remain, the world’s dominant wealth hub over our forecast period, but Asia will see the fastest growth in UHNWIs over the next five years.” – Liam Bailey, global head of research at Knight Frank

Asia is likely to see the largest rise in the number of UHNWIs with growth of 39%, led by Indonesia (67%) and India (63%). Europe will retain its crown as the second largest wealth hub with expected growth of 23%, bringing the total number of UHNWIs to 185,860. The biggest rises in Europe are forecast in Poland (61%) and Sweden (59%). 

Number of millionaires globally is forecast to rise by 41% in next five years

Asia to outperform with the number of UHNWIs set to increase by 39% over next five years

“Asia is the key wealth story. The US is, and will remain, the world’s dominant wealth hub over our forecast period, but Asia will see the fastest growth in UHNWIs over the next five years, 39% compared to the 27% global average,” said Liam Bailey, global head of research at Knight Frank. By 2025, Asia will host 24% of all UHNWIs, up from 17% a decade earlier. The region is already home to more billionaires than any other (36% of the global total). China is the key to this phenomenon with 246% forecast growth in very wealthy residents in the decade to 2025.”

“The forecast growth in the number of UHNWIs globally over the next five years represents optimism for the emergence of a new economic cycle and sets new expectations for the post-pandemic world.”  – Flora Harley, deputy editor of The Wealth Report at Knight Frank

Africa is expected to see the second biggest regional five-year UHNWI growth rate of 33%, led by Zambia (40%) and South Africa (32%). However, the outlook for households earning of US$100,000 a year is even more positive according to Oxford Economics, which is forecasting growth of 139%.  

Households in Africa earning $100,000 forecast to grow by 139% in the same period

UHNWI population in China increased by 16% in 2020  

“Although Covid-19 is still far from under control in many parts of the world, the forecast growth in the number of UHNWIs globally over the next five years represents optimism for the emergence of a new economic cycle and sets new expectations for the post-pandemic world,” said Flora Harley, deputy editor of The Wealth Report at Knight Frank.

Looking back at 2020, Knight Frank’s wealth sizing model reveals that the number of UHNWIs globally increased by 2.4%, one-third of the growth rate in 2019 bringing the total to more than 520,000China saw the largest increase in its UHNW population (9,594 additional UHNWIs) followed by the US (6,080) and Japan (1,199) 

Download the full 2021 Wealth Report here.

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