After the 2022 Downturn, The World Will End Up With *More* Millionaires

Image Credit: iStock, kuppa_rock

Sign up for smart news, insights, and analysis on the biggest financial stories of the day.

The economy might have more inflation than a tire repair shop and supply chains might have more backups than campsite plumbing, but that won’t stop tens of millions of people from joining the millionaire class over the next three years, according to new Credit Suisse research.

Million Dollar Babies

To be sure, the market downturn has hardly spared the uber-wealthy. In the first six months of this year, the world’s 500 richest people lost a combined $1.4 trillion in wealth, Credit Suisse noted in its Global Wealth Report 2022 released Tuesday. But the elite Swiss lender expects a speedy recovery from the lingering effects of inflation, pandemic, and war. Credit Suisse predicts there will be over 87.5 million people with $1 million or more in wealth by 2026, up from 62.5 million in 2021. China alone will nearly double its millionaire population, from 6.2 million to 12.2 million, despite regulatory crackdowns on tech and strict pandemic restrictions. Overall, the Middle Kingdom will be the cornerstone of emerging economies that drive growth:

  • Credit Suisse predicts private wealth will increase 36% globally to $169 trillion by 2026, and wealth per adult will grow 28% to top $100,000 by 2024. The number of people with $50 million, or high net worth individuals, will grow to 385,000.
  • “We expect household wealth in China to continue to catch up with the United States, advancing the equivalent of 14 US years between 2021 and 2026,” Credit Suisse analysts wrote in the report. India, Hong Kong, Brazil, and the continent of Africa will also see considerable growth, with each doubling the number of millionaires in the same time period.

Emerging, Converging: In the next five years, personal fortunes in emerging economies will grow 10% annually, compared to 4.2% in high-income economies, according to Credit Suisse’s forecasts. That may be slower than the 12.7% global wealth growth in 2021, the fastest annual rate ever recorded, but the world is still minting millionaires aplenty.