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One in 65 adults in Britain is now a millionaire - study

LONDON (Reuters) - Millionaires are on the increase in Britain, according to a study which found that one in 65 adults is now worth over seven figures, 41 percent more than five years ago.

A rebound in house prices and stock markets following the 2007 global financial crisis has swelled their numbers by 212,000 to 715,000, a prosperity index published by Barclays said on Thursday.

"The UK is becoming more prosperous ... and every region is seeing a growth in these wealthy individuals," said Akshaya Bhargava, chief executive of Barclays Wealth and Investment Management.

All regions are wealthier now than they were five years ago, with those at the bottom of the index such as Wales and the North East seeing the greatest proportional increases, the study said.

Despite this, it noted the widening divide between Britain's southeast corner and the rest of the country as the proportion of millionaires living in London and the southeast rose from 46 to 52 percent over the last five years.

"We must acknowledge that this prosperity is still not spread evenly across the UK, with some regions still recording high unemployment and insolvency rates," Bhargava said.

London alone, as the British economy's powerhouse, is home to 191,000 millionaires - more than the combined millionaire population of Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Northern England - as those in the capital have reaped the benefits from owning the most expensive property in the country.

However the study flagged up a lack of affordable housing as a possible obstacle to London's future growth.

The overall rise in wealth was above Barclays' long-term trend for millionaire growth and the study forecast a slowdown over the next 10 years with a smaller, 9 percent rise by 2025.


(Reporting by Angus Berwick; editing by Steve Addison)