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Over 8,000 more become millionaires in Bangladesh

  • Published at 07:33 pm July 25th, 2021
Representational photo: Bigstock

According to Global Wealth Report 2021, there are now 21,399 people who own wealth in the range of $1-5 million

A worldwide track on wealth accumulation amidst a protracted pandemic has found surge in the number of millionaires to 56.1 million at the end of 2020, up by 5.2 million from a year earlier.

Bangladesh has it’s share of millionaires too – though still very low in ratio of its population size – yet, witnessed a good surge over the past two years. 

According to Credit Suisse Research Institute’s recently published Global Wealth Report-2021, there are now 21,399 millionaires in Bangladesh, each of whom owns wealth in the range of $1-5 million. 

Some of the report’s previous editions show that there were no millionaire in Bangladesh in 2010, while their numbers were 13,339 at the end of 2018, and has grown ever since by over 8,000. 

Bangladesh’s surge in its millionaire population resembles well with a worldwide rising trend in the numbers of people becoming millionaires in recent years.  

The 12th edition of the Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Report, estimates the number of millionaires registering a yearly rise by 5.2 million from 50.9 million at the end of 2019 to 56.1 million worldwide at the end of 2020.

For the first time in history, over 1% of the world’s adult population are millionaires now. The report also shows how 82% of global wealth is at the hands of just richer 10% segment of population. 

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Two of Bangladesh’s South Asian neighbours have seen contrasting trend in last two years as far as millionaires are concerned. 

While Pakistan saw huge rise in its millionaire population from 8,494 in 2018 to 15,534 now, India witnessed a decline from 759,000 to 697,655 around the same period. 

A detailed study on all 12 editions of the Credit Suisse’s annual reports also shows that Bangladesh’s economy has witnessed a robust growth over the last decade with its net wealth more than trebled from $240 billion in 2010 to $831 billion now.  

Bangladesh’s net wealth now contributes 0.2% of over $418 trillion global aggregate wealth whereas, the share was only 0.09% back in 2010.  

Zurich-based Credit Suisse Group AG is a global investment bank and financial services firm, known for strict bank-client confidentiality and banking secrecy.

Founded in 1856 initially to fund the development of Switzerland's rail system, the Group today boasts having nearly 50,000 people under its payroll, and maintains offices in all major financial centres around the world, providing services in investment banking, private banking, asset management, and shared services.  

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Bangladesh now has an 106,069,000-adult population with an average wealth of $7,837 per head, which was $2,784 back in 2010. 

At the turn of the century, the country had an adult population size of 67,325,000 with average adult wealth value of $1,065 only. In 2000, Bangladesh’s net wealth was valued at $72 billion (just 0.06% of that time’s global wealth).

Global wealth distribution 

The 12th edition of the Global Wealth Report shows continued wealth growth globally. Total global wealth grew by 7.4% and wealth per adult rose by 6% to reach another record high of $79,952 at the end of 2020. Overall, the countries most affected by the pandemic have not fared worse in terms of wealth creation, it finds out. 

Some interesting contrasts between regions are evident. 

Around 90% of adults in Africa own less than $10,000 and 77% of adults in India fall in this range. Meanwhile the fraction is 33% in Europe, 26% in North America and just 21% in China. 

On the other hand, 32% of adults in Europe and 46% in North America have wealth above $100,000. The wealth distribution in both Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region closely resembles the pattern in the world as a whole, with Latin America showing 68% and Asia-Pacific 64% of all adults owning less than $10,000.

The most comprehensive and up-to-date resource of its kind, Credit Suisse’ wealth report analyzed the household wealth of 5.2 billion people across the globe. 

Millionaire density by country 

Over 1% of all adults in the world are now dollar millionaires. But how does this proportion vary across countries? 

This year’s report says, “Starting at the lower end, millionaires are uncommon in India, Indonesia or even Russia: around one in a thousand adults. The frequency is not much greater in China. Despite the large expansion in the number of millionaires, the huge population size means that millionaires remain relatively rare: about one for every 200 adults.”

China’s millionaires constitute just half percent of its huge population while constituting just 0.2% and 0.1% respectively of their populations, the Russian and Indian millionaires are real minorities. 

“In contrast, the chance of encountering a millionaire at random picks up in southern Europe as millionaire density begins to rise. Millionaires account for 3% of adults in Italy and Spain. Prospects increase if you travel north to France, Austria or Germany (about 4%), improving still further if you continue on to Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark or Sweden (around 6%).” 

“But millionaire density is higher still in the United States or Hong Kong SAR (above 8%), Australia (9%), and highest of all in Switzerland (15%),” report states explaining like it did before, this time as well it disregarded countries like Monaco, for which Credit Suisse does not have no firm evidence, but where millionaire density could well be even higher.

Ultra high net worth individuals 

Globally, there are as many as 68,010 adults with wealth above $100 million, with 5,332 of them worth even more than $500 million.

The regional breakdown of the ultra-high net worth group as a whole is dominated by North America with 114,380 members (53%), while Europe has 38,110 (18%), and 28,130 (13%) live in Asia-Pacific countries, excluding China and India. 

Among individual countries, the United States leads by a huge margin with 110,850 members, equivalent to 55% of the world total. China is a clear second with 28,130 individuals, followed by Germany (8,630), the United Kingdom (5,100), Japan (4,670) and India (4,320).

The remaining countries in the top ten nations are France (3,750), Canada (3,510), Italy (3,560) and Switzerland (3,300). 

In 2020, the group expanded by 41,420 adults, a rise of 24%, which exceeds the rate in any year this century except 2003.  

Wealth inequality 

Credit Suisse’s dataset provides a unique opportunity to construct the distribution of wealth for the whole world. 

The report states, “From this, we estimate that the bottom 50% of adults in the global wealth distribution together accounted for less than 1% of total global wealth at the end of 2020. In contrast, the richest decile (top 10% of adults) owns 82% of global wealth and the top percentile alone has nearly half (45%) of all household assets.

The repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic led to widespread rises in wealth inequality in 2020, says the Credit Suisse report. 

Inequality rises were also widespread in 2009, and were sometimes much greater in magnitude, although the biggest jumps at that time were linked to marked falls in inequality during 2008. Where government transfers and other support such as government-backed furlough schemes have not been implemented, the economic impact of the pandemic on employment and incomes in 2020 are likely to have damaged the lowest groups of wealth holders, forcing them to draw down their savings and/or incur higher debt. 

“In contrast, the top wealth groups are relatively unaffected by reductions in the overall level of economic activity and, more importantly, they have also benefited from the impact of lower interest rates on share prices and house prices.”