A look at the Ultra Rich and the Impacts of their Wealth

WealthEngine’s sister company, Wealth-X, published the nineth edition of the World Ultra Wealth Report last summer which explores trends in wealth generation across the globe. The report provides an in-depth analysis of the ultra high net worth (UHNW) population — an exclusive group of wealthy individuals, each with $30m or more in net worth.

With a better understanding of this exclusive group, those that engage with the ultra wealthy can create new outreach strategies and uncover more value within their existing prospect pools.

2020 was a year of dramatic upheaval and polarizing trends in wealth generation. The World Ultra Wealth Report 2021 explores the distribution of wealth among this global rich set amid the huge disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic, volatile capital markets, a surge in digitalization and the deepest contraction in world economic output for a generation.

The report analyzes general wealth drivers, regional trends and explores characteristics of the population including asset holdings, gender, age, industry focus, and interests and hobbies providing insight on new ways to connect with this audience.

Why Focus on the Ultra Wealth?

The ultra wealthy hold an outsized proportion of wealth.

In 2020 there were 25.8 million high net worth (HNW) individuals, each with a net worth of more than $1m — the ultra wealthy comprise an exclusive segment within this much larger group. A breakdown of the HNW population by major wealth tier highlights the extent to which global wealth is distributed unevenly among the world’s richest people.

Almost 90% of all HNW individuals have a net worth of $1m to $5m. Given their considerable number, the combined wealth of this group is the largest of the three major tiers, at $42.7trn (equivalent to a 41% share of global HNW wealth). Yet exclusivity rises quickly above the $5m threshold, as does average net worth. One in every 10 of the world’s millionaire population is classed as a very high net worth (VHNW) individual, with between $5m and $30m in personal wealth. With $27.1trn in combined net worth, this tier accounts for 26% of global HNW wealth.

The third major wealth tier comprises the much smaller cohort of ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals, each with private wealth in excess of $30m. Representing just 1.2% of the world’s HNW population, their combined net worth of $35.5trn accounts for a substantial 34% share, underlining the huge stock of global wealth held by this select group of around 300,000 individuals.


Key Insights from Wealth-X’s World Ultra Wealth Report 2021  

The size of the global ultra high net worth (UHNW) population rose by 1.7% in 2020 to 295,450 individuals. Their combined net worth increased by 1.2% to $35.5 trillion. This was a resilient performance amid the huge disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic, volatile capital markets and the deepest contraction in world economic output for a generation. 


Among the top 10 UHNW countries, the US, CHINA and JAPAN were the only ones to perform strongly in 2020. Apart from Switzerland, all others registered falls in their UHNW populations. India maintained its 10th-placed ranking. 

UHNW individuals with inherited fortunes have a greater interest in philanthropy and art. Technology ranks in the top five interests only among the self-made. Across all three wealth source groupings there is a strong interest in sports, philanthropy and the outdoors. 

If you would like to discover more about these individuals, read more here.


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