NC State Economist Dr. Mike Walden – Where Are the Rich?

Because they have substantial resources, the rich have a significant influence on the economy. When we look around the world, have the places where the rich live changed? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden responds.

“Well, if we measure the rich by the number of millionaires, the latest data show the U.S. still leads with the most millionaires in the world at around six million. We are followed by Japan, number two in terms of the number of millionaires, China and the United Kingdom.

Now the big change over the recent decades — as many people would think — is China. China has rapidly come up the ranks of numbers of millionaires. But you get a slightly different ranking if you look at the percentage of households in a country who are millionaires. Here the U.S. is actually seventh. Qatar, Switzerland, Kuwait, Hong Kong and Singapore are all ahead of us.

Then finally, if you go to what are called ultra rich — these are folks with wealth of a $100 million or more — the U.S. is still first. But now the United Kingdom is second, and China is number three.”


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