Countries with the richest citizens - December 06, 2015

Countries with the richest citizens

When it comes to wealth, the most common statistic we hear is that the richest 1% of the world owns more than 48% of the global wealth. But there are other interesting (and important) indicators in global wealth, like the countries with the most millionaires and billionaires, or the number of people in the middle class by country. Let’s see them.

Which is the richest country in the world? It depends on how we look at it. If we talk about GDP, the US comes at first place. If we talk about GDP per person, the States isn’t that strong at all. According to analysts, Qatar and Luxembourg has the lead in that. But there is another figure where the US takes the lead and it takes it by far: the number of millionaires. According to Credit Suisse, in America there are 15.7 million millionaires, while in the second country, in the UK there are only 2.4 million of them. China, which is the second largest economy in the world, is only at the 6th place of the list, even if Hong Kong is included. Add up the next 14 countries behind the US and we would only barely catch up to the leader.

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If we look at this other infographic, we can see an important (but not that surprising) fact: the number of millionaires is closely connected to the GDP data. Not in every case (like in the case of China), but the richer countries have more millionaires.

Statistic: The 20 countries with the largest gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015 (in billion U.S. dollars) | Statista

The US lead might be obvious in the millionaire segment, but regarding the billionaires, China is the new leader. According to Hurun Report (a Forbes like magazine in the East Asian country), China took the lead with 596 billionaires, while in the US there are “only” 537 of them. What is even more interesting in this data is that China doubled the number of its billionaires in only one year.

There is another important segment where, up until now, America had the leading role, but now it only comes second after China. The East Asian country has the biggest middle class, counting 109 million adults, while the US has 92 million. If we look at the numbers globally, we see that in 2015, there are 664 million adults in the middle class, and one-third of them lives either in the US or in China, the world’s two strongest economies.

This number is important, since as Credit Suisse states „the size, health and resources of the middle class are seen as key factors in determining the speed and sustainability of economic development”. Another important thing is spending: stronger middle class adds a lot to domestic consumption, which helps economy as well. To bring a real world example, as we underlined in our post about Apple: iPhone sales in China may soon outnumber the sales in the US.