The U.S. Has 5% Of the World's Population, and 45% Of the World's Super Rich Population


The news: Swiss Financial Group Credit Suisse released its annual report on global wealth, and it is a doozy. The main takeaway? The United States has A LOT of super rich people (individuals with net worth greater than $50 million).

Source: Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2013

America dwarfs every other nation on Earth in number of individuals with personal net worth over $50 million. For having such a small percentage of the global population (5%), the U.S. has an astoundingly high percentage of the super rich population (45%).

The backstory: Each year, Credit Suisse releases a Global Wealth Report that aims to be “the most comprehensive, reliable and timely source of information on global household wealth.”

In 2013, “global wealth has reached a new all-time high,” hitting $241 trillion. That’s nearly a 5% increase since last year, and almost 70% since 2003, ten years ago. Average wealth is over $50,000 for the first time since 2007, hitting a high of $51,600 this year. But wealth distribution is still extremely unequal. A whopping 86% of global wealth belongs to the top 10% of the population, with just 1% left for the bottom half of the population.

Why this matters: Here in the U.S., income inequality could be the next big issue. With 2016 chatter already ramping up, expect the conversation to turn to wealth soon. And there’s a lot to talk about.

North America holds the highest share of global wealth, for having a small share of the global adult population. Most of that has to do with the U.S. 

Source: Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2013 

The U.S. has 42% of the world’s millionaires. That’s more than China, Japan, and much of Europe combined. And the number of millionaires living in the U.S. is only expected to rise over the next five years, increasing 41% by 2018.

Source: Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2013

People realize there’s a problem with income inequality. Some of them even want to do something about it, and in 2016 they might have their chance. Yes, the U.S. has a lot of the world’s ultra wealthy. But their day of reckoning might be sooner rather than later.