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The United States is the number one country for millionaires and billionaires

A version of this article first appeared in CNBC’s Inside Wealth newsletter with Robert Frank, a weekly guide for wealthy investors and consumers. Register to receive future editions, straight to your inbox.

The United States has quickly overtaken China as the world’s top country for millionaires and billionaires, according to a new report.

There are now more than 5.5 million Americans with investable liquid assets of more than $1 million, up 62% over the past decade and well above the growth rate worldwide by 38%, according to US Wealth Report 2024 from Henley & Partners and New World Wealth.

Over the past five years, the millionaire population in the United States has grown 35%, almost twice as fast as in China. The United States is now home to 37% of the world’s millionaires, up from 35% in 2018.

Divergence increases even more at the top of the wealth ladder. The United States has 9,850 centimillionaires – those worth $100 million or more – compared to 2,352 in China. The United States has around 788 billionaires, compared to 305 in China.

“The United States remains the undisputed global leader in the creation and accumulation of private wealth,” according to the report.

Dominic Volek, head of the private clients group at Henley, said the strict Covid lockdowns in China coupled with an increase in its government intervention in the private sector slowed the growth of wealth creation.

“China has certainly slowed down a lot because of these things and the United States has benefited from that,” he said.

China’s shift toward the United States is also reflected in wealth migration patterns. A net number of 13,500 Chinese millionaires left China in 2023, a new record. The United States saw a net influx of 2,200 millionaires in 2023 and a projected influx of 3,500 in 2024, according to the Henley report.

“The United States remains a favored destination for wealthy tech entrepreneurs and engineers, particularly from Asia, Europe and the United Kingdom,” the report said.

American leadership in wealth creation is reflected in spending and investment. A report of UBS and Art Basel reveals that the United States is the world leader in art sales, accounting for 42% of sales by value. The United States also leads the world in sales of the most expensive works.

Bain now predicts that China will account for only 35-40% of global luxury consumption by 2030, up slightly from current levels. Overall luxury spending in China is about 40% lower than it was in 2019, according to Bain. Sales of luxury goods in the United States totaled $80 billion last year, compared with $52 billion in China, Bain found.

While analysts and economists say China will remain a major source of luxury and wealth growth in the years to come, the United States has become both the dominant market and the source of growth for the economy of the rich.

“The opportunities for wealth creation in the United States are unrivaled globally,” Volek said.

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