Who controls global wealth?
In 2022, the world’s millionaires held nearly half of net household wealth. Decades of low interest rates led equities and real estate values to soar, and these assets are disproportionately held among the world’s wealthiest.
While a steep rise in interest rates decreased these fortunes in 2022, the share of wealth controlled by the global millionaire population remains substantial.
In the graphic below, Visual Capitalist’s Dorothy Neufeld and Christina Kostandi show the distribution of global household wealth, based on the annual 2023 UBS Global Wealth Report.
The Distribution of Global Wealth
Worldwide net private wealth stood at $454.4 trillion in 2022.
Here’s how it was distributed across various levels of net worth, which takes a person’s financial and real assets such as housing, and subtracts their debt:
The highest wealth rung controls $208.3 trillion in wealth, or 45.8% of the global total. Just 1.1% of the world adult population fall in this bracket.
Those with $100,000 to $1 million have the next greatest share, at 39.4% of net household wealth.
We can see that wealth ownership begins to decline dramatically in the next bracket. People with $10,000 to $100,000 control just 13.6% of global wealth. However, the number of people in the global middle class have more than doubled over the last two decades, driven by the rapid expansion of China.
Interestingly, the lowest segment of wealth has shrunk considerably since 2000. Between 2000 and 2022, it fell from 80.7% to 52.5% of the global population, and is projected to keep decreasing. Despite this, the total share of wealth controlled by this rung is just 1.2% of the global total.
By 2027, global wealth is estimated to reach $629 trillion. Here’s the forecast for how wealth distribution is set to evolve:
Over this time period, the global millionaire population is set to reach 86 million. Below, we show how this is projected to change in select markets:
As the above table shows, double-digit growth in the millionaire population is projected for many markets, with China, Brazil, and the UK forecast to see the fastest growth by 2027.
Overall, total global wealth is forecast to increase 6.7% annually on average by 2027 factoring in current global inflation forecasts and GDP projections.