More Chinese than Americans in 'top 10% of global wealth': study

The United States continues to grow and accumulate wealth but for the first time, China now has more people among the world’s top earners.

More Chinese are “in the top 10% of global wealth distribution” according to the Research Institute at Credit Suisse. The rise of China comes on the heels of its growth of industry and technology and the country's development of foreign investments.

The report, released Monday, notes that “China’s progress has enabled it to replace Europe as the principal source of global wealth growth and to replace Japan as the country with the second-largest number of millionaires.”

Credit Suisse wrote that the "wealth growth spurt in 2017 evoked memories of the 'golden age' for wealth during the early years of the century when annual growth averaged 10%." That rate was not maintained while total global wealth reached $351.5 trillion at end-2017, after a dip in 2018, it has only increased to $360.6 trillion as of  mid-2019.

The number of millionaires globally stands at 47 million. The United States accounts for 40 percent of the world’s millionaires, according to the report. China (10 percent) has moved past Japan (6 percent) followed by the United Kingdom (5 percent). The amount of growth in the millionaire class continues to grow in the United States as well.

“The number of new millionaires was also relatively modest, up 1.1 million to 46.8 million,” the report said. “The United States added 675,000 newcomers, more than half of the global total. Japan and China each contributed more than 150,000, but Australia lost 124,000 millionaires following a fall in average wealth.”

The Suisse report also notes that the wealthiest of the wealthy continue to expand their slice of the pie. Income disparity is growing globally, the report says as “the richest 10% own 82% of global wealth and the top 1% alone own 45%.”