North America Overtaken by Europe as World's Wealthiest Region

The credit crunch is transforming the global map of the world’s wealthiest people, with Europe nudging out North America as the richest region, according to a new report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

 

According to the report titled "Delivering on the Client Promise: Global Wealth 2009," global wealth fell from $104.7 trillion in 2007, measured in assets under management (AuM), to $92.4 trillion in 2008—a decline of 11.7%. It was the first decline since 2001.  The steepest decline was in North America, where wealth plummeted by 21.8% last year.

 

The number of millionaire households worldwide fell from 11 million to about 9 million—a drop of 17.8%. The decline was steepest in North America and Europe, at 22% in both regions, although the United States continued to have the most millionaire households—nearly 4 million.


Singapore had the highest concentration of millionaires, with 8.5% of the country’s households owning more than $1 million. Meanwhile, three of the six densest millionaire populations were in the Middle East—in Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.

 

“Wealth will begin a slow recovery in 2010 but may not reach its precrisis level until 2013,” says Peter Damisch, a BCG partner and a coauthor of the report. “We expect wealth to grow at an average annual rate of about 4% from year-end 2008 through 2013.”
Damisch notes that wealth will grow fastest in Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) at 9.5% per year over the same period.

 
 

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