Distribution of world’s 12 million millionaires still favors U.S.

The Economist’s chart of the day shows millionaire population counts for the twelve countries that boast the most millionaires (measured in USD). The United States dominates this comparison, with 3.4 million millionaires, nearly twice the number of millionaires in the second place country, Japan.

Of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), which many economists expect to far outpace G6 economic growth rates over coming decades, only two of four appear on the chart: China and Brazil. China, which has experienced explosive economic growth for years, ranks fourth, behind Germany, with about one fifth the number of millionaires as the US. Brazil barely makes the chart, ranking eleventh, just behind Italy and just ahead of South Korea. Russia and India do not appear on the chart at all.

Growth in millionaire populations may help identify economic strength, especially in terms of entrepreneurial and investment activity. Australia ranks first in millionaire population growth at 15.1%, ahead of China’s 14.3%. Despite prolonged economic sluggishness, the United States’ ability to create new millionaires remains strong at 12.0% growth, tied with Switzerland for third place.

As for slow-growth countries, Brazil may soon fall off the chart completely, showing only 0.2% growth in its millionaire population. In terms of slowest growth, the G6 (excluding the United States) dominates: Japan is #2 slowest with 4.4% growth, Italy #3 at 4.5%, Great Britain #4 at 5.4%, France #5 at 6.4%, and Germany #7 at 6.7%.

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