The Asia Pacific region overtook Europe to become the world’s second wealthiest region in 2014, according to the Boston Consulting Group’s annual global wealth report. It was the first time this happened in the 15-year history of the survey of households worth more than $1 million.
With a slew of new millionaires in China and India, the combined wealth of Asia Pacific’s richest individuals jumped 29% to $47 trillion. North America grew 5.6% and continued to hold the No. 1 spot with $50.8 trillion in private wealth. However, the survey predicts Asia will surpass that next year with $57 trillion.
Overall, the world’s ultra-rich saw their total wealth grow 12%, or $17.5 trillion, to $164 trillion – about 10 times the size of U.S. gross domestic product.
“We have seen a really strong equity market that has had a very strong effect on existing assets,” Daniel Kessler, global leader of BCG’s wealth management division, told the Guardian newspaper. “But looking forward, we assume a moderation in the market performance, with the main difference the newly created wealth in Asia. Two-thirds of the growth in Asia-Pacific is coming from entrepreneurs. We expect Asia-Pacific to add $27.8 trillion (to the wealth of the region’s richest) over the next five years, of which 70% will be China and 15% India.”
The report said the private financial wealth in western Europe grew 6.6% to nearly $40 trillion, and by 19% to $3 trillion in eastern Europe. A quarter of western Europe’s wealth is held by households with more than $1 million in private wealth, compared with 42% globally.
With 5,201, the U.S. continues to have the most households worth more than $100 million. China came in second place with 1,037 households, with the United Kingdom and India grabbing third and fourth place respectively.