New Wealth-X Report Reveals US Population of Very Wealthy Individuals Grew by 8% in 2020, Compared to Just 1.3% Globally

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VHNW Wealth Segment Forecast to Grow by 1.2 million Individuals by 2025

Wealth-X, the world’s leading provider of data and insight on the wealthy, released the 2nd edition of its annual Very High Net Worth Handbook today. The report, which analyzes the state of the world’s very high net worth (VHNW) population (those with between $5 and $30 million in net worth), reveals that this segment grew by 1.3% in 2020, to 2.7 million individuals worldwide. This was a resilient performance set against the backdrop of a global pandemic and the deepest contraction in world economic output for a generation. In addition, the combined net worth of the VHNW population nearly mirrored this modest growth, rising 1.2% to $26.8 trillion.

Key insights from the Very High Net Worth Handbook 2021 include:

  • The US VHNW population grew by nearly 8% in 2020. Among the Top 10 VHNW Countries (pg. 13) the US, China, Japan and South Korea all performed well.
  • North America and Asia were, by far, the best performing global regions. The remaining five regions posted falls in their VHNW populations and combined wealth, with Latin America and the Caribbean seeing the largest decline.
  • London fell out of the top 10 VHNW cities for the first time. The city’s VHNW population fell by a substantial 16% in 2020, dropping London from eighth place in 2019 down to 12th. London’s VHNW cohort contracted at a faster rate than that of the UK as a whole, which itself saw a sizeable decline.
  • San Jose, California has the highest density of VHNW individuals by far. With a relatively modest general population of around 2 million and its status as the wealth center of Silicon Valley, the metro area of San Jose has one VHNW individual for every 66 city residents. San Francisco and three Swiss cities — Basel, Geneva and Zurich — also rank highly for VHNW density.
  • The average age of VHNW individuals is 60, with more than half of the population between 50 and 70. The UAE, Bangladesh and Qatar have the youngest VHNW populations — they represent economies where wealth creation has been fairly recent.
  • There is an uneven distribution of global wealth among the VHNW population. With the average net worth per individual at $10 million, two-thirds of the VHNW class have a net worth that places them in the lowest of the cohort’s four wealth tiers ($5 million to $10 million), commanding just under half of total VHNW wealth.
  • By 2025, the global VHNW population is forecast to total 3.8 million individuals. An increase of 1.2 million from 2020 will be driven, in part, by a rebalancing of wealth across regions.

In addition to revealing a global view of the status and trends of the very wealthy, the Very High Net Worth Handbook also examines this population based on their asset holdings, gender, industry focus, wealth source, and age.

Please visit to download the full report.

Wealth-X leverages its proprietary Global Database of records on wealthy individuals, the largest of its kind in the world, alongside its ‘Wealth and Investible Assets Model’ to compile the report. This model produces statistically significant estimates for total private wealth and estimates the size of the population by level of wealth and investable assets for the world and each of the top 70 economies, which account for 98% of world GDP.

About Wealth-X
The global leader in wealth information and insight, Wealth-X partners with prestige brands across the financial services, luxury, nonprofit and higher-education industries to fuel strategic decision-making in sales, marketing and compliance. Wealth-X has developed the world’s largest collection of records on wealthy individuals and produces unparalleled data analysis to help organizations uncover, understand, and engage their target audience, as well as mitigate risk. Founded in 2010, with staff across North America, Europe and Asia, Wealth-X provides unique data, analysis, and counsel to a growing roster of over 500 clients, worldwide.

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Michael Phillips
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