The number of people with at least $30 million increased this year, as did their influence over markets and business, says the 2014 Wealth-X and UBS Wealth Report.
In 2014, the world’s ultra-high-net-worth population grew by 6 percent to 211,275 individuals. Their wealth increased by 7 percent to nearly $30 trillion, according to the report. Wealth-X provides research on ultra-high-net-worth individuals and UBS is a global provider of financial services.
Only 0.004 percent of the world’s population falls into the ultra-high-net-worth category, but they control almost 13 percent of the world’s total wealth. The UHNW population’s influence grew “from their their importance in wealth management to their consumption of luxury goods,” the report says.
Wealth-X predicts the global UHNW population will reach 250,000 individuals with a combined wealth of about $40 trillion over the next five years.
Different regions of the world reported different growth levels for their ultra-wealthy populations. North America and Europe still dominate the global UHNW landscape, with the largest UHNW population and wealth.
“Asia ranks third in terms of UHNW population and wealth. The region’s performance was less impressive than expected over the past year,” the report states. “Mixed performance across the region’s markets tempered its growth.”
Although India’s UHNW population and wealth increased, the growth in both Japan and China was less than expected. The economies in Asia’s two largest markets were hurt by a lack of confidence in Japan's economy and a slowing real estate market in China, according to the report.
Although the UHNW population and wealth in the Middle East and Africa were the world's two fastest-growing regions, the report cautioned against betting on long-term growth for the two areas. Syria and the region continue to experience military and government crises, and West Africa is being devastated by the Ebola epidemic, the report noted.
Latin America and the Caribbean experienced a decline in both the number of UHNW people and their wealth level in 2013 but began a recovery this year, rising above their 2012 levels, according to the report. But the two regions continue to experience inflationary pressures and negative currency measures, the report says.
The majority of UHNW people are self-made and are involved in founder-owned private businesses, according to the report. Almost $13 trillion of the world’s UHNW wealth is held in private company holdings, nearly twice the amount held in public company stakes, the report says.