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Where the millionaires are

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Posted: 12 pm ET

The total wealth of the world's millionaires will more than double by 2020, with the U.S. holding the lead, according to a study by the Deloitte Center for Financial Services and Oxford Economics. Worldwide wealth will balloon from $92 trillion worldwide this year to $202 trillion in 2020, an increase of 119 percent.

Of the 25 economies represented in the study, the U.S. ranks first in total wealth among millionaire households, with $38.6 trillion, followed by Japan with $10 trillion and Italy with $5.7 trillion. But emerging economies like China (currently No. 12 on the list with $1.67 trillion), South Korea, Mexico, Russia, India and Brazil are projected to increase wealth among millionaires at a faster rate (260 percent versus 107 percent for developed markets) between now and 2020.

The U.S. is expected to nearly double its number of households with $1 million or more by 2020, from 10.5 million households today to 20.6 million in 2020.

The U.S. also currently holds the top spot for number of ultrawealthy, or those with more than $30 million, with China coming in at No. 2. The U.S. has 496,000 of these mega-wealthy households, compared with China's 46,000, but China's number is expected to grow faster in the next decade. By 2020 the U.S. is projected to have 620,000 while China's number will have risen to 327,000.

In a nod to asset allocation, the study concludes that the U.S. will maintain its top ranking not only because it has a bigger base of millionaires to begin with, but also because of the larger array of investment choices available in the developed countries.

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