The world's population of super rich shrank by three per cent last year as a more volatile financial climate and the continued fall in oil prices dented their wealth.
Knight Frank’s Wealth Report released today found that there were 187,500 high net worth individuals (UHNWI) – those with $30m assets or more – at the end of 2015, with a combined wealth of $19.3 trillion.
And while the number of ultra-wealthy is set to rise by 41 per cent to 263,500 by 2025, this is significantly slower than the last decade, when the population grew by 61 per cent.
Almost 6,000 people dropped out of the $30m-plus bracket last year, as global economic slowed and growth in equity, commodity and other asset prices also decelerated.
“Data from 2015 shows the first annual dip in the global ultra-wealthy population since the financial crisis. Last year, only 34 out of the 91 countries for which individual data is compiled saw a rise in the number of UHNWIs,” Knight Frank’s head of UK residential research, Gráinne Gilmore, said.
Brazil saw the biggest decline in individuals with $30m-plus assets, down 12 per cent, followed by Saudi Arabia and Russia, which fell eight and five per cent respectively.
North America fell by two per cent but continued to have the highest number of UHNWIs, with around 69,300 followed by Europe. However Asia is expected to overtake in the next ten years, with its population rising from 41,100 to 68,000.
The report also found that London was ranked the most important city, in terms of where the world’s wealthy live, invest, educate their children, grow their business and spend leisure time.
The capital beat New York for the second year in a row, while Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai also made it into the top five.