全球财富缩水 350万人失去百万富翁身份 Global wealth fall cost 3.5m people ‘dollar millionaire’ status last year
More than 3.5 million people lost their “dollar millionaire” status last year during the first fall in global wealth since the 2008 financial crisis.
The number of adults with assets of more than $1m fell from 62.9 million at the end of 2021 to 59.4 million at the end of 2022, according to the UBS annual wealth report, published on Tuesday. The Swiss bank said global wealth was depressed by high inflation and the collapse of many currencies against the dollar.
The number of millionaires in the US dropped by 1.8 million to 22.7 million, but there are still far more millionaires in the US than any other country. China had the second highest number with 6.2 million.
Despite the decline, the report found that there were four times as many dollar millionaires as there were at the turn of the century.
In the UK, the number of millionaires fell by 440,000 to 2.6 million, the third largest fall behind Japan, which dropped from 3.2 million to 2.6 million. Australia had the fourth largest decline, with 360,000 people no longer being classed as millionaires, reducing the total to 1.8 million.
At the very top, the number of people with more than $50m each fell by 22,500 to 243,000.
The richest 500 people in the world lost a combined $1.4tn in 2022, according to separate research for the Bloomberg billionaires index.
Elon Musk, the world’s richest person and co-founder of Tesla, lost $138bn in 2022, the year in which he completed his $44bn acquisition of Twitter.
The Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, who was once one of the 10 richest people in the world, lost nearly $81bn in net worth and was at $45bn at the end of 2022.
The super-rich, the reasonably well-off and poor people all had aggregate declines in wealth in 2022, according to UBS’s economists, who recorded “the first fall in net global household wealth since the global financial crisis of 2008”.
The world’s privately held wealth fell by $11.3tn, or 2.4%, to $454tn. Average wealth per adult dropped by $3,200 to $84,718. The bank said: “This outcome represents a break in the almost uninterrupted expansion of household wealth this century.”
It said the decline would be felt even more sharply in real terms because of soaring inflation around the world. Household finances have been squeezed by the sharp rise in the cost of everything from food to energy.
The proportion of the world’s wealth held by the richest 1% declined slightly to 44.5%, reversing some of the increase in wealth inequality during the pandemic. To be part of the top 1% requires assets of at least $1,081,342.