Wealth millionaire

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A millionaire or fortune millionaire is a person who owns property worth at least one million units of the corresponding national currency, for example one million euros . The definition depends on the currency and point in time. The currency denomination is often placed in front of the word millionaire (e.g. " dollar millionaire"). As a synonym for a very wealthy person, the term is generally only used in relation to currencies whose basic unit has a purchasing power similar to that of the euro or the dollar. Accordingly, a multimillionaire is a person who owns several million units of the respective national currency, for example several million euros. To be distinguished from wealth millionaires is the much rarer income millionaire .


In 2017 there were 6.2 million people in the Asia / Pacific region and 5.7 million in North America with cash and cash equivalents of at least one million US dollars . In Europe there were 4.8 million, in the Middle East 700,000, in Latin America 600,000 and in Africa 200,000 people.

Worldwide, the millionaires are distributed according to wealth as follows (as of: Capgemini World Wealth Report 2017):

  • about 16.25 million people - between $ 1 million and $ 5 million in net worth
  • about 1.65 million people - between $ 5 million and $ 30 million in assets
  • about 174,800 people - more than $ 30 million in net worth
  • about 2,043 people - more than $ 1 billion in net worth

Taken together, there are around 18.1 million people worldwide who have assets of more than 1 million US dollars (for comparison: the total world population is currently around 7.55 billion people. This is less than 0, 25% of the world's population is dollar millionaires). The global net worth of all millionaires in 2017 was approximately 70.2 trillion (70,200 billion) US dollars.

If the value of a currency declines due to inflation , the number of millionaires increases accordingly. The purchasing power of one million US dollars in 1960 equals ( deflated ) e.g. B. $ 8.6 million in July 2018. Today that's $ 8.62 million.

The definition of wealth is decisive for the definition of who is a millionaire . The broader this definition, the greater the number of wealthy millionaires.

  • The broadest definition includes all types of assets : tangible assets, financial assets, entitlements and (future) labor assets . When considering wealth millionaires, this definition is irrelevant.
  • A consideration of real and monetary assets is used in the study of the distribution of wealth . Significant items such as the ( discounted ) pension entitlements are typically not considered.
  • In most of the ranking lists of wealth millionaires, the sum of real assets and monetary assets is considered without taking into account owner-occupied property. Since owner-occupied real estate is the largest asset item in most households, this definition significantly reduces the number of wealthy millionaires.
  • Particularly in studies that deal with the target group of private banking , the definition of assets is further restricted to financial assets or liquid assets , since only this offers a sales approach for these banks.


The word millionaire comes from French. It was created in 1719 on the occasion of the speculative bubble with the shares of the Mississippi Company founded by John Law (the so-called Mississippi Bubble ).

World Wealth Report

An estimated number of the world's dollar millionaires has been regularly documented in the World Wealth Report since 1997. This survey is compiled every year by the investment bank Merrill Lynch together with the consultant Capgemini . US dollar millionaires are referred to as high net worth individuals (HNWI, dt. High net worth person). The USA, Japan and Germany have the most millionaires, with Singapore having the highest density of millionaires with 17.2% of all households. The US tops the list of the super-rich with personal wealth over $ 100 million.

In the World Wealth Report, millionaires are divided into three groups based on their freely disposable net worth:

  • Low-Tier Millionaires (US $ 1-5 million) - "Simple Millionaires" ("Millionaire Next Door")
  • Mid-Tier Millionaires (US $ 5-30 million) - "Mid-Tier Millionaires"
  • High-Tier Millionaires (> US $ 30 million) - "Super-rich" ("Ultra High Net Worth Individuals")

The vast majority falls into the first category: Worldwide, the group of millionaires has financial assets (i.e. without owner-occupied property) averaging US $ 3.7 million (2004).

Dollar millionaires

Proportion of millionaires (US $) in different regions in 2016 according to the World Wealth Report
Country / Region US $
world 13,645,400
North America 4,724,800
United StatesUnited States United States 4,389,000
CanadaCanada Canada 335,800
Europe 3,935,400
SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland 363,300
FranceFrance France 290,700
United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom 802.800
GermanyGermany Germany 774,600
AustriaAustria Austria 110,700
RussiaRussia Russia 132,000
Asia Pacific 3,297,700
China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China 719,400
IndiaIndia India 264,300
JapanJapan Japan 1,166,000
Africa 145,100
middle East 406,700
United Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates 80,600
Latin America 563.100
BrazilBrazil Brazil 154,800
AustraliaAustralia Australia 321,900

Criterion: person with financial assets of more than one million US $, not including real estate that they use themselves. Exact measurements are not available for the division of high wealth. The number of millionaires is based on approximate estimates, which can vary significantly depending on the source.

The US $ is a leading currency in international finance. For better comparability, assets domiciled in other countries are given in US $. To be a dollar millionaire in one of the European countries, a fortune of around 886,000 euros is enough (exchange rate June 2019).

According to the estimate in the World Wealth Report 2017 (for 2016) there are around 10.1 million (2008) US dollar millionaires worldwide. According to the World Wealth Report, these 10.1 million millionaires together hold a net worth of around 40.7 trillion US dollars (32.5% of total wealth worldwide compared to 0.15% of the world's population), which corresponds to an average wealth of $ 3.915 million per capita. By comparison, the world's total wealth is around $ 125 trillion.

According to this estimate, the country with the most US $ millionaires is the USA with 3.1 million dollar millionaires (2007). In Germany there were, according to the report, in 2009 about 861,500 US dollar millionaires (2008: 809,700). in Austria approx. 64,000 (2008), in Switzerland approx. 185,300 (2008). The consulting firm Boston Consulting Group also publishes a wealth report, according to which the number of US $ millionaires in Germany in 2008 was only 373,565.

According to the estimate in the World Wealth Report, a selection of dollar millionaires from other countries results in 161,000 for Australia (2006), for Brazil 120,000 (2006), Canada 248,000 (2006), China 345,000 (2006), India 100,000 (2006), Russia 400,000 (2007), Great Britain 485,000 (2006).

According to the World Wealth Report 2017, the number of ultra-HNWIs, i.e. people with more than US $ 30 million in net worth, was 193,490 worldwide in 2016, of which 2,270 in Africa, 7,370 in the Middle East, 7,570 in Latin America, 46,080 in Asia, 49,650 lived in Europe and 73,100 in North America. Of the total estimated 19.7 trillion dollars (2016), Africa accounted for US $ 0.26 trillion, US $ 0.81 trillion in the Middle East, US $ 0.79 trillion in South America, US $ 4.84 trillion in Asia, US $ 4.97 trillion in Europe and US $ 7.31 trillion in North America. (Note: The World Wealth Report 2017 does not give a breakdown of the individual regions. It is therefore not clear whether, for example, Mexico is included in North America, Russia in Europe, Brazil in Latin America and which countries are in the Middle East. According to the study, the greatest growth in ultra-HNWIs is predicted in Asia over the next 10 years.

As a result of the financial crisis , according to the estimate in the World Wealth Report 2009 , the number of dollar millionaires in the various regions of the world declined to varying degrees compared to 2007 (Germany: 2.7% fewer; United States: over 18% fewer; United Kingdom: 26% less; Russia: 28.5% less; India: 31.6% less). In China, however, the number of dollar millionaires grew and rose to over a million in 2010.

Euro millionaires

Criterion: people with financial assets of at least one million euros. Financial assets include: cash deposits in banks and insurance companies, building society contracts, securities (including majority ownership in stock corporations) and bonds, but no real estate. Exact measurements are not available for the division of high wealth. The number of millionaires is based on approximate estimates, which can vary significantly depending on the source.

With the introduction of the euro as legal tender on January 1, 2002, the number of currency millionaires fell significantly. Since the overwhelming majority of financial assets are to be found at the lower end of the scale, even an apparently small increase in the limit leads to the loss of a disproportionately large number of people, i.e. in Germany the D-Mark millionaires (according to the law of logarithm by around 30%).

D-Mark (DM) millionaires
year Residents D-mark millionaires
(estimates, not
adjusted for inflation)
Quota per line
DE 1960 55,958,000 140,000 0.25% 1: 400
DE 1978 61,322,000 217,000 0.35% 1: 283
DE 1998 82,037,000 1,500,000 1.8% 1: 55

According to Valluga AG, there were 830,000 wealthy millionaires in Germany in 2010 with total assets of 2,191 billion euros. With 177,800, North Rhine-Westphalia is the state with the most wealthy millionaires. In terms of population, Hamburg has the highest density of millionaires. 43,000 Hamburgers have assets of one million euros or more; this corresponds to 2.41% of the total population of the city-state. In 2013 there were 1,015,000 wealthy millionaires in Germany. Thus, for the first time in history, there are more than a million wealthy millionaires in Germany. In 2013 there were around 12 million wealthy millionaires worldwide. According to the World Wealth Report 2018, the number in Germany rose further to 1.364 million millionaires.

Lottery millionaires

The state lottery companies provide the following information on the number of lottery millionaires:

  • Every year around 400 people in Germany type six correct numbers. The number of lottery millionaires in Germany is around 100 per year (2006: 114; 2007: 122, 2008: 103, 2009: 111, 2010: 112, 2011: 117, 2012: 115, 2013: 92, 2014: 97 , 2015: 115, 2016: 112, 2017: 105, 2018: 152).
  • In the D-Mark era, 4129 people became lottery millionaires (DM) since the start of the lottery (October 1955 to December 2001).
  • In 2005 there were 24 new lottery millionaires ( CHF ) in the Swiss number lottery . From the start of the lottery (1980) up to and including February 12, 2005, there have been a total of 387 lottery millionaires.


A billionaire is a person who directly or indirectly owns at least one billion (1,000,000,000, one thousand million) units of assets.

If you follow the representations of the list The World's Billionaires by the US business magazine Forbes Magazine , there were a total of 2,153 billionaires worldwide in 2019 with total assets of approximately 8.7 trillion US dollars. The richest person in the world is Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (USA, assets: approx. 131 billion US dollars), 2nd place goes to Bill Gates (USA, approx. 96.5 billion US dollars), 3rd place goes to Warren Buffett (USA, approx. 82.5 billion US dollars), Bernard Arnault (France, approx. 76 billion US dollars) ranked 4th and Carlos Slim Helu (Mexico, approx. 64 billion US dollars) ranked 5th . This is followed by Amancio Ortega (6th place, Spain, approx. 62.7 billion US dollars), Larry Ellison (7th place, USA, approx. 62.5 billion US dollars), Mark Zuckerberg (8th place, USA, approx. $ 62.3 billion), Michael Bloomberg (9th place, USA, approx. 55.5 billion US dollars) and Larry Page (10th place, USA, approx. 50.8 billion US dollars).

The countries with the most billionaires are according to Forbes list 2018: 1st place: USA - 585 billionaires / 2nd place: China - 373 billionaires / 3rd place: Germany - 123 billionaires.

According to the Wealth-X Report 2016, 56% of billionaires generated their own wealth and 44% inherited or partially inherited it. The 2019 Billionaires Report concludes that billionaire-controlled companies significantly outperformed the MSCI AC World Equity Index in the ten years to the end of 2018. The authors of the study attribute this billionaire effect to the willingness of billionaires to take intelligent risks and plan / invest in the long term.

The development of the number of billionaires (since 2000):

year Number of billionaires Total assets in $ trillion
2020 2,095 8.0
2019 2.153 8.7
2018 2,208 9.1
2017 2,043 7.7
2016 1,810 6.5
2015 1,826 7.0
2014 1,645 6.4
2013 1,426 5.4
2012 1,226 4.6
2011 1,210 4.5
2010 1.011 3.6
2009 793 2.4
2008 1,125 4.4
2007 946 3.5
2006 793 2.6
2005 691 2.2
2004 587 1.9
2003 476 1.4
2002 497 1.5
2001 538 1.8
2000 470 0.9

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Millionaire  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. The world map of the rich . In: Handelsblatt . No. 233, November 30, 2012, ISSN  0017-7296 , pp. 54 f., Or online: Where the rich get richer
  2. Inflation Calculator
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  4. World Wealth Report 2014 ( Memento of the original from July 26, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. or World Wealth Report 2014 ( Memento of the original from July 22, 2014 in the Internet Archive ; PDF; 3.8 MB) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved July 23, 2014 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.capgemini.com @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.thewealthreport.net
  5. BCG Global Wealth Report 2012. piketty.pse.ens.fr, p. 9; Retrieved September 3, 2013
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  7. World Wealth Report: p. 2
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  10. a b How wealth is distributed remains a mystery. taz , August 26, 2010
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  13. China's number of millionaires over the million for the first time . ( Memento from June 5, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Financial Times Deutschland, June 2, 2011
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  16. Valluga Ag asset report. Data published by dasinvestment.com
  17. There are more than a million millionaires living in Germany . focus.de, September 3, 2013
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  19. Lotto winners and lottery millionaires 2006 to 2017. Statistia. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  20. Global Billionaire Population: The Billionaire Census 2018. In: Wealthx. May 15, 2018, accessed June 13, 2018 .
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