From the Jan 20th 2011 issue of The Economist.
Capgemini, a consultancy, defines anyone with investable assets of $1m or more (excluding their home) as a “high-net-worth individual”, consultant-speak for rich. By this conservative measure the planet has about 10m millionaires, according to Capgemini and Merrill Lynch, a bank.
Credit Suisse, another bank, uses a less stringent (and more obvious) definition: a millionaire is anyone whose net assets exceed $1m. That includes everything: a home, an art collection, even the value of an as-yet-inaccessible pension scheme. The Credit Suisse “Global Wealth Report” estimates that there were 24.2m such people in mid-2010, about 0.5% of the world’s adult population. By this measure, there are more millionaires than there are Australians. They control $69.2 trillion in assets, more than a third of the global total. Some 41% of them live in the United States, 10% in Japan and 3% in China.