The number of rich Chinese has surpassed the count of wealthy Americans for the first time as both countries keep creating millionaires, as global wealth grew 2.6% to $360trn in mid-2019 year-over-year.
According to a study by Credit Suisse, the average wealth per adult reached a new record high of $70,850, up 1.2%. In terms of average wealth per adult, Switzerland ranks N. 1 with $564,650, followed by Hong Kong ($489,260), Australia ($386,060), and Singapore ($297,870).
"Despite the trade tension between the United States and China over the past 12 months, both countries have fared strongly in wealth creation, contributing $3.8trn and $1.9trn respectively," said Nannette Hechler-Fayd'herbe, global head of economics and research at Credit Suisse.
100 million Chinese ranked in the global top 10% as of the middle of this year versus 99 million in the United States."
The number of dollar millionaires in the US increased by 675,000 last year to 18.6 million. This means about one in 14 adults in America is a millionaire. In China, there are 4.4 million millionaires, an increase of 158,000 on 2018, according to the report, and 10% of the global total. There are an estimated 1.1 billion adults in China.
"While the United States continues to top the world league table, with China in second place, the relative positions are likely to be eroded as we project a 23% rise in the number of millionaires in the United States, compared to a 55% increase to 6.9 million for China," he wrote in the report.
Globally, there are 46.8 million millionaires, or 0.92% of the world's adult population in mid-2019. They collectively own $158.3trn, or 44% of global wealth, according to the report.
Australia was the biggest loser of millionaires, down by 124,000 to 1.2 million, but much of that decline was due to exchange rates, since millionaires are measured in US dollars.