The cumulative wealth of the world’s millionaires and billionaires rocketed over 10 percent in 2017 to reach $70.2 trillion, a report revealed Tuesday.
Last year was the first time that the wealth of the richest people on earth surpassed $70 trillion. It was also the second largest annual increase in terms of percentage since 2011.
The research was published by the consulting firm Capgemini in its annual World Wealth Report 2018.
Across the world, there were 1.6 million more “high net worth individuals” (HNWIs), defined as a person whose assets total more than $1 million, in 2017 than in 2016.
The firm believes the wealth of the world’s richest people will top $100 trillion in 2025.
Capgemini believes that surging global markets are why the wealthiest people saw their riches grow so rapidly last year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit its highest milestone of 26,115 points on Jan. 17, 2018. Although the Dow closed Tuesday down 287 points at 24,700, the index is still at a very high level.
"High net worth individuals around the world enjoyed investment returns above 20 percent for the second year in a row," Anirban Bose, the head of Capgemini's financial services global strategic business unit, said in a statement.
Over 61 percent of HNWIs live in just four countries – the United States, Japan, Germany and China. Of the people who became new millionaires in 2017, 62 percent of them live in those four countries.
In the U.S., the number of wealthy individuals increased 10 percent during 2017 to 5.3 million. There were 3.2 million HNWIs in Japan and 1.3 million in China, a 9 percent and 11 percent increase, respectively. The number of HNWIs in India increased 20 percent to 263,000.
In order to compile the report, Capgemini surveyed 2,600 millionaires and billionaires living in 19 separate regions.
By Barry Eitel in San Francisco