Millionaires to own 46% of global wealth by 2019 – study

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(File photo) An electronic stock ticker at the New York Stock Exchange

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — In less than five years, millionaires will own nearly half of global private wealth, according to figures from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

In its study, Global Wealth, the firm found that 41% of the world's wealth were in the hands millionaires — those with more than $1 million in private wealth — in 2014.  It projects that the figure will rise to 46% by 2019.

The total number of millionaire households grew to 17 million in 2014, from 15 million the previous year. The growth was buoyed by solid market performance of existing assets, the study said.

The U.S. had the most number of millionaires in 2014 (seven million), followed by China (four million), which also had the highest number of new millionaires (one million). Japan stood at third with one million millionaire households.

However, Switzerland ranked the highest in terms of millionaire density — 135 out of every 1,000 of its households had private wealth greater than $1 million. Bahrain (123), Qatar (116), Singapore (107), and  Kuwait (99) round out the top five.

The rich have gotten richer

Private wealth of ultrahigh-net worth (UHNW) households — those with more than $100 million — posted a double digit growth of 11%.

The group held $10 trillion of wealth in 2014 — that's 6% of global wealth.

The firm also noted that this segment will be the fastest growing in both the number of households and total wealth. It predicts that households alone could grow by as  much as 19% over the next five years.

Total global wealth grew 12% last year, reaching $164 trillion — that's slightly higher than 2013's 12%.

The Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, posted the fastest growth rate, having surged by 29%. However, North America held the largest share (31%) of global wealth.

The U.S. was the wealthiest individual country, accounting for $46 trillion, or 28%, of the global total.

Nevertheless, BCG expects the Asia-Pacific region to overtake North America as the world's richest region by 2016, with $57 trillion in private wealth. The firm expects total global wealth to reach $222 trillion by 2019.