Israel gains 20,000 millionaires, average wealth increases - study

"Wealth" is defined by the annual report as the value of financial assets plus real assets – particularly housing – owned by households, minus their debt.

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October 22, 2019 15:23
2 minute read.
money

Shekel money bills. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Israel has gained approximately 20,000 millionaires and enjoyed a significant increase in adult wealth over the past 12 months, according to a new report published by Credit Suisse.

Propelled by the appreciating shekel, the number of Israelis boasting financial and non-financial assets worth a total of $1 million increased from 111,000 to 131,000 citizens between mid-2018 and mid-2019, the annual global wealth report revealed. By 2024, an estimated 173,000 Israelis will be millionaires.

“Wealth” is defined by the annual report as the value of financial assets plus real assets – particularly housing – owned by households, minus their debt.

Israeli adults, the report stated, were among those who enjoyed the largest gains in wealth worldwide. Average wealth per adult increased from $174,129 in mid-2018 to $196,568 by mid-2019, the seventh greatest gain worldwide. Median wealth per adult stood at $58,066.

Switzerland, the United States and Japan enjoyed the greatest gains in average wealth per adult during the same period. At the other end of the spectrum, the average wealth of Australian adults dropped by some $28,670, losing some 124,000 millionaires.

The United States, extending its unbroken spell of annual wealth gains since the global financial crisis in 2008, accounts for approximately 40% of dollar millionaires worldwide and 40% of individuals in the top 1% of global wealth distribution.

For the first time, however, China overtook the United States to become the country with the most people in the top 10% of global wealth distribution. Total household wealth in China has risen from $3.7 trillion to $63.8t. since the turn of the century, a multiple of more than 17.

Today, China has 4.4 million millionaires and now boasts 100 million members of the global top 10%, overtaking the 99 million members in the United States for the first time. The number of ultra-high net-worth individuals in the United States (wealth above $50m.) remains approximately four times that of the next country, China.

“China and other emerging markets have seen the fastest growth in millionaires, but they started from a low base,” the report’s authors said. “The ‘new world’ has not yet overtaken the ‘old world’ as the source of most new millionaires, but that prospect is fast approaching.”

According to the report, 2.9 billion individuals (57% of all adults) have wealth below $10,000 in mid-2019, and possess just 1.8% of the total wealth worldwide. The next band, covering wealth between $10,000 and $100,000, trebled in size from 514 million in 2000 to 1.7 billion by mid-2019.

The sharp increase “reflects the growing prosperity of emerging economies, especially China,” the report said, “and the expansion of the middle class in the developing world. The average wealth of the group stands at $33,530, and holds assets equivalent to 15.5% of global wealth.

Individuals with wealth ranging from $100,000 to $1m. have more than doubled from 212 million to 499 million since 2000, and currently own assets totaling 39% of global wealth – four times their share of the adult population.

The top tier of high net worth individuals – dollar millionaires – is small in size, consisting of just 0.9% of all adults. Their aggregate wealth, however, has grown nearly four-fold from $39.6t. in 2000 to $158.3t. in 2019. Over the same period, the top tier has increased its share of global wealth from 34% to 44%.


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