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Evaporating millionaires

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Posted: 4 pm ET

The U.S. lost 129,000 millionaire households in 2011, largely as a result of poor performance in the stock market, where the wealthy had been seeing most of their gains in net worth.

Total private wealth now stands at $38 trillion in North America, a decline of 0.9 percent from a year ago, according to Boston Consulting Group. The mega-wealthy suffered even more: Those with investable assets of at least $100 million lost 2.4 percent of their wealth. There are 2,928 individuals in North America with that level of wealth, down from 2,989 in 2011.

The U.S. still leads the world in the number of millionaires with approximately 5.1 million households, but the rest of the world is catching up. Globally, the number of millionaires increased by 175,000, to a total of 12.6 million, with the most growth coming from emerging economies China and India.

After the U.S., Japan has the most millionaires, with 1.6 million, although it lost 2 percent of them last year. Next is China, with 1.4 million. Private wealth in Asia, excluding Japan, has increased by 10.7 percent, or $23.7 trillion.

If you want to bump into a millionaire, you can increase the odds by traveling to Singapore, the country with the highest density of millionaires, at 17 percent of the population. Next is Qatar, with 14.3 percent, followed by Kuwait with 11.8 percent.

How do you think the decreasing number of millionaires in North America and the increasing number in Asian countries will affect global and U.S. economies?

Calculate how you can join the ranks of millionaires.

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