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Number of millionaires rockets as global wealth grows to $152tr

Stock markets and rapid economic development in Asia spurred growth

There are millions more millionaires in the world thanks to a huge surge in private wealth around the world.

More than 16 million households passed the mark in US dollars in 2013, up from 13.7 million in 2012, according to a report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

Most of them are to be found in the US, which also has the highest number of new millionaires, and wealth is growing fast in China.

There are 2.4 million households there with more than $1 million – 900,000 more than the year before, the report found.

Looking beyond the super-rich, private wealth overall grew to $152 trillion (£90 trillion) last year, boosted by rising stock markets and wealth creation in rapidly developing economies.

The 15 per cent rise was stronger than in 2012, when global wealth grew by 9 per cent.

Wealth was growing rapidly in the Asia-Pacific region (apart from Japan), Eastern Europe, North America, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

China has been the biggest driver, with private wealth in the country surging by almost half in 2013.

The situation in Western Europe was steadier, with wealth increasing by 5.2 per cent in a year, but it is expected to be knocked from its spot as the second-richest global region next year.

Analysts expect Asia-Pacific to be the richest place in the world in terms of private wealth by 2018.

Brent Beardsley, a BCG senior partner who co-authored the report, said developed economies must make the most of existing assets.

He added: “The task in the developing economies is to attract a sizable share of the new wealth being created there. Overall, the battle for assets and market share will become increasingly intense in the run-up to 2020.”

The report found that the growth of private wealth was largely driven by a strong rebound in equity markets from the second half of 2012.

Improvements were spurred on by relative economic stability in the US and Europe, alongside signs of recovery in some countries including Ireland, Spain and Portugal.

Wealth by region:

  • North America rose by 15.6% to $50.3tn
  • Western Europe rose by 5.2% to $37.9tn
  • Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) rose by 30.5% to $37tr
  • Middle East and Africa rose by 11.6% to reach $5.2tn
  • Latin America rose by 11.1% to $3.9tn
  • Eastern Europe rose by 17.2% to $2.7tn