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We're richer and poorer and a lot of millionaires don't live here

By Dian Vujovich

Well, it appears as though folks are richer now than they were a couple of years ago, but not as rich as they once were. And the real richies aren’t living in the United States of America. Turns out they prefer the East.

New figures from The Federal Reserve show that household net worth rose 2.1 percent during the first quarter of 2010. It was the fourth consecutive quarter that that’s happened. But those figures came out before the market dives of May. I’m guessing that that $54.6 trillion in wealth will slip by the time the next report is out.

Even so, it’s good news because the net worth includes the value of people’s assets, like those of their homes, money in their checking accounts and investments, minus their debts—like credit card and mortgage debt.

As an aside, American’s net worth before the recession totaled $65.9 trillion.

And then there’s global wealth.

The Boston Consulting Groups’ Global Wealth 2010 Report came out last week. Figures in it showed that in 2009 world wealth increased by 11.5 percent over the previous year (2008).

While wealth throughout North America jumped by 15 percent, it was Asia that saw the highest increase in household wealth—up 21 percent from 2008 figures. And it’s also Asia where the most multimillionaires reside.

Have buku bucks and want to live near others with millionaire fortunes and the top five cities in the world to live would be:

1.Singapore. Population 4.7 million with 11.4 percent of them millionaire households.

2.Hong Kong. Population 7.1 million and number of millionaire households, 8.8 percent.

3.Switzerland. Its population is 7.6 million and 8.4 percent of households there are millionaire households.

4.Kuwait. Of the 2.8 million people living there, 8.2 percent are millionaires.

5.Qatar. Less than a million in population,(841,000), but 7.4 percent of them are millionaires.

The United States had 4.7 millionaires last year—that’s up over 15 percent from 2008 figures. Even so we ranked No. 7. With our population of 310.2 million only 4.1 percent of them were millionaires.

Read more from The Boston Consulting Report Global Wealth Report 2010 at: http://tinyurl.com/2d6twnr .

To read more articles, please visit the column archive.

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