This year the World’s Billionaires have an average net worth of $3.5 billion, up $500 million in 12 months. The world has 1,011 10-figure titans, up from 793 a year ago but still shy of the record 1,125 in 2008. Of those billionaires on last year’s list, only 12% saw their fortunes decline.
U.S. billionaires still dominate the ranks–but their grip is slipping. Americans account for 40% of the world’s billionaires, down from 45% a year ago.
The U.S. commands 38% of the collective $3.6 trillion net worth of the world’s richest, down from 44% a year ago.
Of the 97 new members of the list, only 16% are from the U.S. By contrast, Asia made big gains. The region added 104 moguls and now has just 14 fewer than Europe, thanks to several large public offerings and swelling stock markets.
* U.S. Millionaires Grow 16% to 7.8 Million in 2009 after a sharp decline in 2008.
* Households Worth $5 Million or More Increase 17% to 980,000.
* In addition to the millionaire groups, the broader affluent population, those with a net worth of $500,000 or more (NIPR), grew by 12% in 2009 to 12.7 million.
Cap Gemini and Merrill Lynch World Wealth Report 2009
World Wealth Report on the situation at the end of 2008.
• At the end of 2008, the world’s population of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) was down 14.9% from the year before, while their wealth had dropped 19.5%. The unprecedented declines wiped out two robust years of growth in 2006 and 2007, reducing both the HNWI population and its wealth to below levels seen at the close of 2005.
• Ultra-HNWIs suffered more extensive losses in financial wealth than the HNWI population as a whole. The Ultra-HNWI population fell 24.6%, as the group’s wealth dropped 23.9%, pushing many down into the ‘mid-tier millionaire’ pool.
• The global HNWI population is still concentrated, but the ranks are shifting. The U.S., Japan and Germany together accounted for 54.0% of the world’s HNWI population in 2008, up very slightly from 53.3% in 2007.
China’s HNWI population surpassed that of the U.K. to become the fourth largest in the world. Hong Kong’s HNWI population shrank the most in percentage terms (down 61.3%).
• HNWI wealth is forecast to start growing again as the global economy recovers. By 2013, we forecast global HNWI financial wealth to recover to $48.5 trillion, after advancing at a sustained annual rate of 8.1%. By 2013, we expect Asia-Pacific to overtake North America as the largest region for HNWI financial wealth.