US has highest number of 'super wealthy' worth $100m or more

Asia expected to record a 57% rise in number of centimillionaires over next decade, according to Henley & Partners

The global population of the ultra-wealthy is forecast to rise by 27 per cent in the next five years to almost 663,483, according to Knight Frank’s 2021 Wealth Report. Getty Images
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The US is home to the world's highest concentration of "super wealthy" people with a net worth of $100 million or more, a report has found.

Thirty-eight per cent of 25,490 “centimillionaires” globally reside in the US, according to Henley & Partners, which tracks private wealth and investment migration trends worldwide.

Centimillionaires are ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) with more than $100m in investable assets.

China and India are ranked second and third, with centimillionaire populations of 2,021 and 1,132, respectively. The UK is in fourth place with 968 centimillionaires, followed by Germany with 966, the report found.

Switzerland, Japan, Canada, Australia and Russia make up the top 10 countries for centimillionaires, according to the report.

“Not long ago, in the late 1990s, $30m was considered the fortune needed to meet the 'super wealthy' definition,” said Juerg Steffen, chief executive of Henley & Partners.

“However, asset prices have risen significantly since then, making $100m the new benchmark.”

The number of UHNWIs with a net wealth of $30m or more in the world rose by 9.3 per cent last year as the global economic rebound from the Covid-19 pandemic and rising equity markets supercharged wealth creation, a March report by global property consultancy Knight Frank showed.

Last year, 52,000 people globally were added to the ultra-wealthy segment. The growth in wealth was evenly spread across regions in 2021, with North America leading the way and registering a 12.2 per cent increase in wealth for UHNWIs.

Meanwhile, in a separate report in July, management consultancy Boston Consulting Group said 41 per cent of the UAE’s wealth in 2021 was derived from UHNWIs and this share is expected to grow to 43 per cent in 2026.

The origin of centimillionaires’ money falls into four categories — inherited wealth, Baby Boomers selling off their small and medium enterprises, stock market investors and the chief executives of multinationals and successful technology companies, according to Henley & Partners.

Asia is expected to record a 57 per cent increase in the number of centimillionaires over the next decade, which will be twice that of Europe and the US, the report said.

Concentrated primarily in China and India, centimillionaires in these countries are set to eclipse their European and American peers.

“In many emerging markets and smaller countries, there are relatively few billionaires, which makes the billionaire wealth band largely irrelevant,” said Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth, a research company that tracks the wealth and movement of millionaires, multimillionaires and billionaires globally, which also contributed to the report.

“However, many of these countries have large numbers of centimillionaires. For instance, Kenya has no billionaires but it has 14 centimillionaires. Malta has only two billionaires but 26 centimillionaires.

“The centimillionaire wealth band is, therefore, a far more accurate reflection of the ‘super-wealthy’ community in these countries.”

Fifteen per cent of centimillionaires globally are women, according to the report. Three countries boast more female centimillionaires than their male counterparts — Madagascar, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

In many emerging markets and smaller countries, there are relatively few billionaires. However, many of these countries have large numbers of centimillionaires.
Andrew Amoils, head of research, New World Wealth

Meanwhile, Vietnam is forecast to be the fastest-growing market for centimillionaires over the next decade, with a 95 per cent growth rate predicted in this category in the manufacturing, property, technology and financial services sectors, according to the report.

India is next in line, with an expected 80 per cent growth rate in the number of people worth more than $100m by 2032.

Mauritius has also emerged as a hotspot for centimillionaires, with growth of 75 per cent predicted for this African island nation.

New Zealand and Australia are also forecast to record “exceptional growth” of 72 per cent and 60 per cent, respectively.

New York tops the list of cities around the world with the highest number of centimillionaires, at 737. The San Francisco Bay Area, which includes San Francisco and Silicon Valley, ranks second with 623 centimillionaires.

This is followed by London and Los Angeles, which are home to 406 and 393 centimillionaires, respectively, with wealth of more than $100m.

Dubai is home to 202 centimillionaires and is ranked 18th globally, the report said.

Golf counts as the most popular pursuit of global centimillionaires in 2022, followed by art collecting, cycling, skiing and horse riding, according to Henley & Partners.

The top holiday destinations for centimillionaires include The Hamptons, Florida, the French Riviera, the Italian Riviera and the Algarve in Portugal.

There has also been an exponential rise in demand for family offices among centimillionaires, the report said.

North America has the largest share of family offices at 42 per cent, while the Asia-Pacific region is the fastest-growing market, recording an increase of 44 per cent.

Updated: June 23, 2023, 3:08 PM