Half of the world’s personal wealth belongs to the rich – and they just keep getting richer

The rich now own nearly half of the world’s personal financial wealth – and they’re only expected to continue getting richer, according to a new study.

Worldwide, personal wealth grew to roughly $202 trillion in 2017, a 12 percent increase over 2016 and the strongest annual growth rate in the past five years.

The total is roughly 2.5 times the size of the world’s Gross Domestic Product of $81 trillion for 2017, according to a report by The Boston Consulting Group.

American is home to nearly 200,000 people who own $100 million or more. This class of ultra-wealthy people is expected reach 671,000, worldwide, by 2022

If current trends continue, the study found that personal financial wealth could grow at a compound annual growth rate of as much as 7 percent by 2022.

At the other end of the spectrum, about 767 million people – nearly 11 percent of the world’s population – lived on less than $1.90 a day in 2013, according to most recent data available from The World Bank. 

Despite the grim statistic, that number is down from 35 percent in 1990, with nearly 1.1 billion people moved out of extreme poverty since 1990. 

‘The fact that the wealth held by millionaires as a percentage of total wealth is increasing does not mean that the poor are getting poorer,’ Anna Zakrzewski, the report’s lead author, told Bloomberg. ‘What it means is that everyone is getting richer. Specifically, we believe that the rich are getting richer faster.’

The bulk of the world’s wealth – more than 40 percent – was held by residents of North America, for $86.1 trillion in total. Americans like Bill Gates, with a net worth of $93.3 billion, and Oprah Winfrey ($3 billion) helped put the continent over the top. 

The millionaires and billionaires of Western Europe followed, controlling 22 percent.  

Oprah Winfrey is one of America's ultra-wealthy, with a net worth of $3 billion

With a net worth of $93.3 billion, Bill Gates is the richest man in America

The U.S. is home to some of the richest people in the world – including nearly 200,000 people with $100 million or more in assets. Among them are Oprah Winfrey, whose net worth is approximately $3 billion, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, whose net worth is $93.3 billion

China also continued to see major growth, particularly among its affluent population – defined as people with $250,000 – $1 million to invest. The number of Chinese millionaires is on track to grow four times as fast as in the U.S.

‘China will continue to experience similar growth as in the past and this will mean that over the next five years, there will be more wealth created in China than in the U.S.,’ Zakrzewski said.

The U.S. has nearly 200,000 people with $100 million or more in assets – the highest concentration in the world. Worldwide, the number of people in this ultra-rich category is on track to reach 671,000 by 2022. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk