Asia’s millionaires top global wealthy ranking

Asian millionaires now control more wealth than their peers in North America, Europe and other regions, according to a new World Wealth Report from Capgemini, a consulting group.

Asian millionaires saw their wealth jump by 9.9% in 2015, while poor performance in the equity markets in the United States and Canada slowed growth in North America to a sluggish 2.3% last year.

Latin American millionaires, meanwhile, suffered a decline in net worth of 3.7%, driven by political volatility and a turbulent stock market in Brazil. Europe’s growth was steady, with a 4.8% increase led by Spain and the Netherlands.

Asians’ net worth has soared over the past several years. The total wealth of Asia’s richest residents totaled $17.4 trillion in 2015, up from $8.4 trillion in 2006. North America’s wealthy have $16.6 trillion socked away, up from $11.2 trillion in 2006.

Asia also surpassed North America in terms of the number of millionaires in 2014. And their ranks grew even more last year, soaring 9.4%.

Of the 5.1 million Asian millionaires in 2015, 2.7 million came from Japan and 1 million were from China. There were 4.5 million U.S. millionaires.

China had the fastest growth last year, hitting 16.2%, and is expected to expand even further in coming years.

Wealth in Asia is driven mainly by the financial services, high tech and health care industries. And it’s coming more from those owning start-ups than from those running long-standing businesses.

North American millionaires, meanwhile, saw their ranks inch up only 2%, while Europe’s climbed 4.8% and Latin America’s fell 2.2%

Globally, the wealthy have seen their net worth explode in recent years, skyrocketing from $16.6 trillion in 1996 to $58.7 trillion in 2015. That surge has mainly been powered by the rise of manufacturing and economic activity in China.

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