Last updated: 21:58 / Sunday, 23 October 2016
Wealth-X Report

The UHNWI, the 0.004% of the World’s Adult Population that Control 12% of the World's Wealth

The UHNWI, the 0.004% of the World’s Adult Population that Control 12% of the World's Wealth

According to the World Ultra Wealth Report 2015-2016 produced by Wealth-X, there are 212,615 ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals globally, holding a combined wealth of US$30 trillion in net assets.

The fourth edition of this leading report on the world’s ultra wealthy population shows almost flat growth in 2015 as the number of individuals with US$30 million or more in net assets grew just 0.6% and total UHNW wealth increased by 0.8%. Despite this meager growth, UHNW individuals, who account for just 0.004% of the world’s adult population, still control 12% of its wealth.

Regional Differences in UHNW Growth Trends

In Europe, the Middle East and Africa UHNW wealth fell 2.4% as equity markets, local currencies and gross domestic product collectively experienced negative net returns. By contrast, Asia-Pacific experienced a 3.9% rise as the ultra wealthy in certain markets continued to benefit from dynamic business expansion and economic growth. In the Americas, it was Latin America, rather than North America, that helped the region achieve a modest 1.5% growth in ultra wealth value.

Across all geographic regions, it is the highest ranks of the UHNW population who are experiencing the most success.  The report highlights that in 2015 billionaires saw their wealth grow 5.4%, more than double the rate of global economic growth, while collectively other tiers saw their wealth shrink by 0.6%.

Driven by Wealth-X’s unparalleled collection of hand curated dossiers on the global UHNW population, the World Ultra Wealth Report contains detailed analysis of the wealthiest individuals in the world with a focus on geography, lifestyle, social networks, philanthropic behaviors, motivations and legacy.

Additional key findings from the report include:

UHNW global wealth is expected to reach US$46.2 trillion by 2020

  • UHNW wealth is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9%.
  • The UHNW population is expected to exceed 318,000 by 2020.

Female UHNW individuals saw their wealth decrease

  • While the female UHNW population remained steady at 13%, their share of total UHNW wealth fell from 14% to 11% this year. Average female high net worth wealth dropped from US$147 million to US$126.3 million.
  • Male wealth increased 2.4% from US$139.8 million to US$143.1 million, reflecting a greater focus on self-made wealth and a higher-risk asset composition.

Finance, banking and investment remains the top UHNW industry

  • Though its lead among other UHNW industries continues to shrink as manufacturing grows in importance.
  • In two out of three cases, wealth is purely self-made rather than inherited. As wealth matures in younger economies, the transfer of wealth has seen a growing class of second-generation ultra wealthy emerge.

Wealth continues to rise generation by generation

  • The under-30 demographic accounts for just 1% of the world’s ultra wealthy population and 0.3% of global UHNW wealth.
  • UHNW individuals aged 80 or over are seven times wealthier than those under 30 and are worth nearly double that of the average UHNW individual globally.