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Here's where the world's ultra wealthy live

Melody Hahm
Senior Writer
An attendee holding an umbrella and pulling a Ferrari themed cart with a dog poses for a photograph in front of a 1934 Packard 1107 Twelve Convertible Victoria, right, during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach, California, U.S. At last year’s event sales of vintage cars hit a record $399 million. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

The world’s richest 1% have as much wealth as the bottom 50%.

In the last year, total global wealth grew by 6.4% — the fastest pace of wealth creation since 2012. A whopping 43% of the world’s 36 million millionaires live in the United States, according to Credit Suisse’s 2017 Global Wealth Report. That makes the U.S. the stand-out leader among wealth creators.

As the eighth annual report puts it, the U.S. continued its “remarkable unbroken spell of gains after the financial crisis,” adding $8.5 trillion in household wealth. This is five times China’s gains, even though the Asian giant came in second place.

Three factors determine how many millionaires any given country has: the size of the adult population, average wealth, and wealth inequality. The US has high marks in each category.

Japan comes in second place, but by a slim margin. The UK holds steady in third place, and Germany, China and France each make up 5% of the world’s total millionaires.

The next level of wealth

Credit Suisse classifies 148,200 adults worldwide as ultra-high net worth individuals (who have a net worth above $50 million). That’s about .001954887% of the world’s total population. The total number of ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWI) has gone up by 13% since last year and the entire world has seen an increase in the super wealthy.

Among this population, 54,800 are worth at least $100 million and 5,700 are worth more than $500 million.

The report found that 49% of UHNWI live in the U.S. China comes in second place with 18,100 UHNWI, followed by Germany and the UK, which made up some of the losses it suffered a year ago after the Brexit vote.

We should expect to see even more wealth creation in the years to come. The number of millionaires will rise by 22%, from 36 million today to 44 million in five years.

Melody Hahm is a senior writer at Yahoo Finance, covering entrepreneurship, technology and real estate. Follow her on Twitter @melodyhahm.

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