There are now almost 47 million millionaires in the world, according to a new study from Credit Suisse, and what is potentially more shocking is they control almost half the world’s wealth.
The world’s wealthiest were able to downplay the effects of a wild stock market, slowing global economic growth and even the trade wars to add 1.1 million to their ranks from the middle of 2018 to the middle of 2019, according to the Global Wealth Report compiled by Credit Suisse.
If you combine the worth of all 46.8 million millionaires, the total comes out to a whopping $158.3 trillion. That’s 44% of the total wealth in the world held by less than 50 million of the 7.7 billion people that live on Earth.
Most of these millionaires call the United States home. The U.S. added 675,000 to its comfortably wealthy ranks, bringing its total up to 18.6 million. Two countries in Asia, Japan and China, rounded out the top three in new wealth. Japan added 187,000 to crest three million total, and China now has over 4.5 million moderately wealthy citizens after adding another 158,000.
Who was the biggest loser of wealth in the last year? Australia lost 124,000 millionaires to fall to 1.2 million total, but that can be attributed to the weak Australian dollar as the study was conducted using U.S. dollars as the metric.
Wealth inequality has been a key platform for some Democrats seeking the White House in 2020, but the study actually revealed that inequality may actually be on a downward trend. The top 1% wealthiest in the world control 45% of the world’s wealth, which is down from 47% in 2000.
This can be attributed to growth in the middle class. Individuals worth between $10,000 and $100,000 has tripled since 2000 to an incredible 1.7 billion people.
“While it is too early to say that wealth inequality is now in a downward phase, the prevailing evidence suggests that 2016 may have been the peak for the foreseeable future,” said the report, according to CNBC.