Money & Power

Ultra-Wealthy Asians Make Up the Fastest Growing Group in the World

The World Ultra Wealth Report analyzed an exclusive group of ultra high net worth individuals across the world.
IMAGE chuttersnap/ UNSLPASH

Wealth-X, a wealth information and insight company, has just released the World Ultra Wealth Report for 2018.

The report found that the population of high net worth individuals in the world displayed strong growth—12.9 percent to 255,810 people from 2016. Wealth-X analyzed an exclusive group of wealthy individuals, with a net worth of $30 million and above, across the world.

Among the study's many findings was the fast growth of wealth creation in Asia, measured at 27 percent. While North America topped the research at 35 percent, with 90,440 individuals with a collective net worth of $10 billion, Asia still displayed a significant 18.5 percent growth of ultra-wealthy population. In the 2017 report, wealth creation was most prevalent in Asia after a surge in collective net worth was observed in one quarter. Wealth-X cited the developments in China and Hong Kong as key contributions.

This year, however, Wealth-X points to the “large and vibrant economies” of China, Hong Kong, and India for pulling up the percentage. The research says this reflected “a much improved economic environment across emerging markets, stronger external demand, booming equity prices, higher infrastructure spending, resilient currency movements against the dollar, rising consumption by a rapidly expanding middle-class and the impact of domestic policy reforms.”

The research interestingly notes that on average, Asian industrialists are slightly younger than the whole ultra high net worth population. A quarter of Asian industrialists, about 19,500 individuals were found to be below 50 years old. It also found that wealthy Asian individuals have a larger stock of investable liquid assets while holding a greater amount of private net worth at the same time.


According to the text, “This reflects, to a large extent, the fact that Asia boasts more vibrant conditions for new wealth creation at a younger age than the more mature markets, and also the impact of generational wealth transfer. The share of Asian industrialists who inherited the bulk of their fortunes was, at 14.2 percent, higher than the global average.”

Hong Kong, New York, and Tokyo were ranked as the three top ultra high net worth cities. The Japanese capital was described as the largest financial hub in Asia. Supported by the country’s monetary policy, there has been a strong rise in real-estate. In what was described as a staggering dynamism of wealth, a total of 26 Chinese cities were added to a list of 30 fastest-growing ultra high net worth cities. Out of all, Chongqing was singled out for posting an annual average growth of 18.3 percent, climbing up since 2012.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the key characteristics of the Asian industrialist, according to the Ultra Wealthy Analysis: The World Ultra Wealth Report 2018:

Number: 19,005
Total wealth (of all Asian industrialists): $2.76 billion
Average wealth: $145 million
Top 3 countries: China (43.1 percent)
Top 3 countries: India (16.9 percent)
Top 3 countries: Hong Kong (9.4 percent)
Male: 86.1 percent
Female: 13.9 percent
Average age: 57.4
Proportion under 50 years of age: 24.6 percent
Self-made: 61.5 percent
Inherited/self-made: 24.3 percent
Inherited: 14.2 percent

Source: Ultra Wealthy Analysis: The World Ultra Wealth Report 2018

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Paolo Chua
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