News & Opinion | March 5, 2020 6:21 am

The World Just Gained 31,000 New Ultra-High Net Worth Individuals

The rich: They get richer!

ultra-high net worth individuals
Lifetimes of the richer and the ultra-rich.

Congratulations are in order to 31,000 very wealthy people who are now definitively ultra-wealthy.

The number of ultra-high net worth individuals (who apparently go by the impossible-to-pronounce acronym UHNWIs) rose by 6 percent last year, bringing the grand total to 513,244, according to a report by property consultants Knight Frank. Ultra-high net worth individuals include those whose assets total more than $30 million.

This, as the Guardian noted, means that the number of ultra-wealthy individuals across the globe is greater than the respective populations of Iceland, Malta or Belize.

The recent spike in super-wealth is attributed to rising global stock markets and increased property prices, and the growth isn’t expected to slow down anytime soon. According to the report, the UHNWI population is expected to grow by a further 27 percent, to 650,000 individuals, by 2024. Meanwhile, the population of those with more modest fortunes also saw an increase, with the worldwide total of millionaires reaching 50 million, up from 46.9m in 2019.

According to Knight Frank, this swell in ultra-wealth emerged during a fairly turbulent economic year. “Economically, 2019 was outwardly a tumultuous year, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reducing its forecast for global GDP growth from 3.5% in January 2019 to just 2.9% in January 2020 – a 10-year low,” the report said. “Despite this, the world’s UHNWI population rose by 6.4% … This is borne out by the results of our attitudes survey, in which 63% of [wealth managers] said their clients’ wealth had increased in 2019, with only 11% reporting a decrease.”

Guess it pays to be rich.

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