Wednesday, February 24, 2021

The Wealthy

 London has overtaken New York as home to the highest concentration of dollar millionaires in the world.

Nearly 875,000 Londoners are dollar millionaires (denoting assets worth more than £720,000).

It means one in 10 people living in London are dollar millionaires, with the data highlighting the yawning inequality gap in the capital. More than 2.5 million (or 28%) of those living in London are classed as “living in poverty”. 800,000 – or 39% – of the capital’s children are living in poverty. 

The high cost of housing in London is the main driver for categorising so many households as being wealthy.  London had the most so-called “prime” homes of any city in the world, with more than 68,000 units valued at more than £2m each. 

Despite the economic destruction wrought by the pandemic on millions of people with modest incomes, those who were already very rich have been able to increase their fortunes. More than 6,000 people joined the ranks of the ultra-wealthy last year as those in the top 0.1% were able to increase their already-vast fortunes despite the coronavirus pandemic. The number of ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) – those with assets of more than $30m (£21.3m) – rose by 2.4% last year to 520,000. The UHNWI population is expected to swell by a further 27% to 663,483 by 2025, the report estimates, as huge fortunes are being made in China, Indonesia and India. The number of dollar millionaires is expected to soar by 41% in the same period.

 A person living in the UK would need a $1.8m (£1.3m) fortune to join the so-called 1% club of the richest people in the country.

In Monaco, where many of the world’s richest people live to avoid income taxes, a fortune of $7.9m is needed to join the top 1%. In Switzerland it is $5.1m. While in the US it is $4.4m, in Kenya the figure is $20,000.

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