Eroding Wealth

Print Edition: November 2012

Rough economic weather has taken a toll on the wealth of households across the globe, including India.

Between mid-2011 and mid-2012 , the wealth of Indian households has gone down by $700 billion (around Rs 35 lakh crore). Globally, the total household wealth has declined by 5.2% to $223 trillion during the period, according to the third annual Global Wealth Report 2012 released by the Credit Suisse Research Institute.

The global household wealth has declined for the first time since the 2007-08 economic crisis . Europe, which is facing a financial crisis, was responsible for $10.9 trillion of the total loss of $12.3 trillion. Over the next five years, wealth is forecast to rise almost 50% from $223 trillion in 2012 to $330 trillion in 2017. The US will remain on top with $89 trillion by 2017.

The report says the number of millionaires worldwide will increase by about 18 million reaching 46 million in 2017.

China will add a total of $18 trillion of wealth during the period, surpassing Japan as the second wealthiest country in the world. Wealth per adult in China has grown robustly since 2000, more than tripling from $6,000 to $20,500 in 2011.

In India, wealth per adult rose from $2,000 in 2000 to $5,300 in 2011. Property and other real assets comprised around 84% of estimated household assets. A very small proportion of the population (0.3%) has a net worth over $100,000.

India has 237,000 individuals in the top 1% of global wealth holders. Only 1,500 individuals have wealth over $50 million (Rs 250 crore) and 700 with more than $100 million (Rs 500 crore).

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