The global ultra-wealthy population has reached a record high of 211,275 individuals – with a combined net worth of nearly $30 trillion – according to Wealth-X & UBS.
The Wealth-X and UBS World Ultra Wealth Report 2014 confirms that 12,040 new ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals were minted this year, pushing the global UHNW population to a record 211,275, a 6% increase from 2013.
The combined wealth of the world’s UHNW individuals – defined as those with US$30 million and above in net assets – increased by 7% to US$29.725 trillion in 2014, almost twice the GDP of the world’s largest economy, the United States.
“ The United States maintains its position as the world’s top UHNW country ”
North America and Europe continue to dominate the global landscape as the regions with the largest UHNW population and wealth.
The United States maintains its position as the world’s top UHNW country in 2014 with a population of 69,560 UHNW individuals with a combined net worth of over US$9.6 trillion, a 6% and 7% increase respectively from last year.
The Wealth-X and UBS World Ultra Wealth Report 2014 forecasts that the global UHNW population will reach 250,000 individuals in the next five years. The report also predicts that Asia will be the region that sees the fastest growth in UHNW wealth, overtaking Europe in terms of UHNW wealth in the next ten years.
The average UHNW individual spends US$1.1 million a year on luxury goods and services, ranging from expenditure on travel to food. We estimate that these individuals are responsible for almost 19% of the entire luxury market – higher than the 17% share of the market they accounted for last year.
Their increasing importance in this sector is partly due to the fast growth in UHNW population and wealth, which saw their average net worth and liquidity rise.
Furthermore, demand for luxury goods and services from high net worth and mass affluent individuals seems to have ebbed a bit in the last year, while UHNW individuals have not modified their purchasing patterns significantly.
“ The average UHNW individual spends US$1.1 million a year on luxury goods and services ”
For UHNW individuals, many luxury items and experiences are part and parcel of their lifestyle and are not necessarily considered a “luxury”.
For example, UHNW individuals with private jets use their aircraft not only for leisure, but also for business purposes. On the other hand, while yachts, and particularly superyachts, are usually a non-necessity, many UHNW individuals lead very public lives, and the privacy of a family holiday on a yacht is a very special treat.
Preferences and tastes within the UHNW population differ, but across all clusters, the growth in so-called “experiential” luxury is evident as more and more UHNW are craving intangible and invaluable luxury experiences over and above material luxury goods.
This is an excerpt of the Wealth-X and UBS World Ultra Wealth Report 2014. For further details we encourage you to download the full report
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