World’s wealth hierarchy

Wealth creation is one of the most controversial topics. In this article I want to show numbers & facts about wealth. There’s gonna be no emotional bla bla bla about inequality, only numbers. Article based on Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report (2018).In 20th century speed of wealth creation sharply increased due to technological revolution and numerous wars & countries independence movement. Also women’s individual wealth in all time high.For centuries Europe and North America considered the richest in the world’s wealth hierarchy. But now China emerged on second position in the world’s wealth hierarchy by millionaires and ultra-high net worth individuals (net worth more than $50 million). In past 10 years India experienced fast GDP growth which created more opportunities for fast wealth creation.During 2008 financial crisis, financial assets (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, bank accounts, etc) suffered biggest losses but recovered fast during post-crisis years. In recent years non-financial assets (real estate, infrastructure, natural resources, equipment, machinery, etc) shown fastest growth.In chart below presented total world’s wealth divided by region or by country (China, India). In 2018 global wealth was $317 trillion. Biggest wealth concentration is in North America ($106 trillion) and Europe ($85 trillion). In China $51 trillion of wealth concentrated.Residents of selected European and North American countries had many years to accumulate wealth. China and Asia Pacific accumulated wealth rapidly because of fast economic development. On map below presented world wealth distribution by country.Best representation of wealth inequality looks like this:

  • Half of the worlds population collectively own less than 1% of total wealth.
  • Top 10% own 85% of global wealth.
  • Top 1% own 47% of global wealth.

Numbers are best representation of wealth distribution. In different countries opportunities for wealth creation different. On mid 2018 there was 42.2 million millionaires which is 2.3 million higher than year before. In 2018 The United States added 878.000 new millionaires. In 2018 United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy added approximately 200000 new millionaires. In 2018 China added 186000 new millionaires.Millionaires net worth calculated in US dollars and international exchange rates play important role.In the chart below presented annual change in total wealth according to Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report.As we can see on chart since 2001 only four years with negative growth of global wealth. During 2008 financial crisis about 10% of global financial wealth lost but during post-crisis years growth accelerated. Mostly young people in low wealth category because they had little time to accumulate financial and non financial assets.It’s estimated that global wealth will reach $399 trillion by 2023. This growth expected because of opportunities created by emerging markets.Ability and opportunity to accumulate wealth depend on gender, religion, education, family, country, government stability, law, etc. That means that we don’t have equal opportunities in wealth creation.In next article we will take a look on “women and wealth”.Thanks for reading. Please follow and leave comments.

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