Cashing in on COVID-19: The world gained 5.2m millionaires – Find out which country produced the most six-figure earners!

 The world’s wealthiest saw a substantial increase in their finances, with more than 5.2million joining the elite “millionaire” club. Find out which countries produced the most millionaires! 

The impact of the pandemic saw personal wealth, particularly for the world’s poorest, decline during the enforced economic shutdowns. Yet, the world’s wealthiest not only survived the worst of the recession but managed to thrive.  

The world’s wealthiest saw a substantial increase in their numbers with more than 5.2 million joining their ranks, according to the annual Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report. 

We look at which countries produced the most millionaires in 2020 as well as how the richest invested their wealth. 

For the first time in history millionaires now account for more than 1% of the total population; 56 million individuals own assets worth more than $1 million in 2020.  

Many of the world’s wealthiest cashed in on emergency measures implemented to curb economic stagnation. The world’s richest increased their coffers as central banks flooded financial markets with cheap money, inflating asset prices. 

The Credit Suisse report details that aggregate global wealth accumulated by households rose by about $28.7 trillion in 2020. Huge economic stimulus and forex volatility increased the world’s total accumulated riches by $28.7 trillion (+7%) to $418.3 trillion in 2020, according to the report. 


Countries that created the most millionaires:  

  1. US +1,730,000  
  1. Germany +633,000  
  1. Australia +392,000  
  1. Japan +390,000  
  1. France +309,000  
  1. UK +258,000  
  1. China +257,000   
  1. Canada +246,000  
  1. The Netherlands +214,000  
  1. Italy +187,000 

The USA added a staggering 1.7m newly minted individuals with six-figure assets to its already huge pool of millionaires. Germany (633,000) and Australia (392,000) complete the top 3 in the report. Despite producing individuals on the World’s Richest list, millionaires remained uncommon in India, Indonesia, and Russia. 

The report states: “The contrast between what has happened to household wealth and what is happening in the wider economy can never have been more stark.” 

Overall, global wealth grew by 7.4% in 2020 to $418.3 trillion in 2020, with gains largely attributed to growth in the US, Europe, and China. 

Even more alarming is the 41,420 who joined the group of “ultra-rich”, individuals who have collected assets worth more than $50 million. 


Economy gets a second wind 

Credit Suisse said: “Reassured by the prompt action of governments and central banks, financial markets regained confidence and the losses in equity markets were largely reversed by the end of June. That much was understandable. But what happened in the second half of 2020 was unforeseen. 

“Share prices continued on an upward path, reaching record levels by the end of the year. After initially pausing to take stock, housing markets were also infected by the prevailing optimism, and house prices rose at rates not seen for many years.” 

What caused the surge in wealth? Higher equity and residential property valuations lifted overall aggregate household net worth, assets (including property) to approximately $418.3 trillion. 

Despite struggling global economies and lockdown restrictions, this still represents an increase of 4.1% on a constant currency basis, only slightly below the annual average of the past 20 years. 

“Overall, financial assets accounted for most of the gain in total wealth as they have done in most years since the financial crisis. The increase of USD 22.5 trillion was slightly over double the USD 10.0 trillion rise in non-financial assets.  

“A rough 2-to-1 split is also evident in the regional breakdowns for North America, Europe and China, but the contributions were roughly equal in the Asia-Pacific region,” reports Credit Suisse. 


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