The global population of high net worth individuals fell 14.5 last year along with the economy, according to a new report.
HNWIs are classified as those with assets of at least $1 million excluding their primary residence and consumables, according to the World Wealth Report released on Wednesday by Capgemini and Merrill Lynch.
HNWIs also saw a 19.5 percent drop in their wealth to $32.8 trillion, wiping out two years of growth in 2006 and 2007, the report stated.
Regionally, individuals in the group are found mostly in North America, Asia, and Europe. The top three countries for this group are the United States, Japan and Germany with 54 percent of the total in 2008, slightly higher than 53.3 percent in 2007.
Meanwhile China’s millionaire population surpassed that of the United Kingdom to become the fourth largest in the world. Hong Kong’s HNWI population fell the most, down 61.3 percent to 37,000.
Americans fell 18.5 percent to 2.5 million, or 28.7 percent of the total. The French slipped 12.6 percent while Germany saw a 2.7 percent drop.
Japanese, which comprise more than 50 percent of the HNWI population in the Asia-Pacific region, fell by 9.9 percent.
Growth in the next several years is expected to be $48.5 trillion by 2013, advancing by an annual rate of 8.1 percent.