The United States has seen a significant increase in the number of millionaires and billionaires, surpassing China as the world’s top spot for wealthy individuals. According to the 2024 USA Wealth Report from Henley & Partners and New World Wealth, there are now more than 5.5 million Americans with liquid investible assets exceeding $1 million. This marks a 62% increase over the past decade, outpacing the global growth rate of 38%. In the last five years alone, the population of millionaires in the U.S. has grown by 35%, nearly double the rate of growth in China.

Moreover, the U.S. is now home to 37% of the world’s millionaires, up from 35% in 2018, indicating a widening gap between the U.S. and other countries in terms of private wealth accumulation. At the top of the wealth ladder, the U.S. boasts 9,850 centi-millionaires (individuals with assets of $100 million or greater), significantly more than China’s 2,352. The U.S. also leads in the number of billionaires, with approximately 788 compared to China’s 305.

According to experts, the shift in wealth from China to the U.S. can be attributed to various factors, including the impact of strict Covid lockdowns in China and increased government intervention in the private sector. Dominic Volek, group head of private clients at Henley, pointed out that these elements have slowed down wealth creation in China while benefiting the U.S. As a result, the U.S. continues to be the global leader in private wealth creation and accumulation.

The trend of wealth migration further reinforces the shift towards the United States. In 2023, a net 13,500 Chinese millionaires left China, setting a new record. Conversely, the U.S. experienced a net inflow of 2,200 millionaires in the same year, with a projected inflow of 3,500 millionaires in 2024, according to the Henley report. This influx of wealthy individuals underscores the U.S.’s appeal to tech entrepreneurs and engineers, especially from Asia, Europe, and the UK.

The leadership of the United States in wealth creation is not limited to private wealth accumulation but extends to spending and investing as well. A report from UBS and Art Basel reveals that the U.S. accounts for 42% of global art sales by value, making it the leader in art market transactions. Additionally, the U.S. leads in sales of the highest-priced artworks, further solidifying its position in the art world.

Looking towards the future, Bain predicts that China’s share of global luxury goods consumption will only slightly increase to 35-40% by 2030, up from current levels. Luxury spending in China remains below 2019 levels, with the U.S. outpacing China in luxury sales. In 2023, luxury sales in the U.S. amounted to $80 billion, surpassing China’s $52 billion, according to Bain.

While China is expected to continue to be a significant contributor to luxury and wealth growth globally, the United States has emerged as the dominant market and source of growth for the high-net-worth economy. With unparalleled wealth creation opportunities, the U.S. remains a top destination for affluent individuals seeking prosperity and success, further solidifying its reputation as a leader in the world of private wealth accumulation and investment.

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