29th Feb 2024

Super-rich and poorest both see drop in wealth, study finds

  • Russia added around $600bn [€552bn] in wealth in 2022, despite Western economic sanctions (Photo: Unsplash)
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Global wealth had declined for the first time since the 2008 global financial crisis — but is expected to grow by 38 per cent by 2027, according to a new report from the Swiss bank UBS.

However, regional trends are mixed.

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Russia, Mexico, India, and Brazil are among the countries with the largest wealth gains, while the United States, Japan, China and Australia are expected to lose the most wealth in 2022.

In its Global Wealth report, which estimates the wealth of 5.4 billion adults worldwide, UBS calculates that the country led by Vladimir Putin added around $600bn [€552] in wealth in 2022, despite economic sanctions imposed by the West following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

In addition, the number of Russian millionaires rose by some 56,000 to 408,000, as did the number of ultra-rich individuals with more than $50m.

In contrast to Russia, the wealthier regions of North America and Europe accounted for the bulk of the global wealth loss. Together, they lost about $10.9bn.

According to UBS economists, the super-rich, the reasonably well-off and the poorest all saw their wealth fall last year.

At the individual level, wealth-per-adult fell by 3.6 percent to $84,718. This decline is largely explained by the appreciation of the US dollar against other currencies.

Wealth inequality also fell in 2022. In that year, the wealth share of the world's top one percent fell to 44.5 per cent.

Although, as the report points out, "for the world as a whole, these annual changes have roughly cancelled each other out, leaving global wealth inequality at the level it was at at the start of the pandemic".

Nevertheless, the outlook for the coming years is brighter. By 2027, UBS expects global wealth to increase by 38 percent to $629 trillion.

This growth will be driven by the rise of middle-income countries, UBS's team of economists reckons.

In four years' time, there will be 86,000,000 millionaires and 372,000 ultra-high net worth individuals.


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