Belgium lost 26,000 millionaires in 2021

Belgium lost 26,000 millionaires in 2021
Credit: Canva

Household wealth increased globally by almost 10% in 2021, but Belgium saw its number of millionaires fall by 26,000 to 589,000 millionaires, according to Credit Suisse's annual Global Wealth Report published on Tuesday.

In order to be comparable for all nations around the world, the calculations were made in USD ($). Nonetheless, with the Euro recently hitting all-time lows against the US currency (at time of writing €1 = €0.99) this makes for an almost direct comparison.

Belgium ranks in the top 10 countries globally for average wealth per adult ($381,110). Median wealth per adult provides a better insight into wealth distribution, with Belgium performing strongly ($267,890), second to Australia ($273,900).

Yet Belgium is one of the countries with the largest decline in wealth per adult, which has fallen b almost 3%. Credit Suisse puts this down to currency issues, with the Euro depreciating against the US Dollar.

Switzerland had the highest average wealth per adult in the world: $696,600.

Distribution and inequality

The global top 1% saw their wealth rise yet again: the richest 1% now owns 45.6% of global wealth, up from 43.9% in 2019. Furthermore, the number of "ultra-high-net-worth" individuals grew by 21% between 2019 and 2021. This term refers to people worth $50 million or more.

However, inequality rose during the pandemic with some households able to make savings whilst others were driven into precarity. Long term, global wealth inequality is predicted to fall due to fast growth in emerging markets. Yet in developed countries such as Belgium, wealth inequality is likely to keep growing.

Global wealth grew by 12.7% in 2021, the "fastest annual rate ever recorded", which the report attributes to a good performance of stock markets and the appreciation of real estate.

Related News

Yet rampant inflation and volatile interest rates could reverse 2021's growth in 2022.

Moreover, Russia's invasion of Ukraine is likely to diminish wealth creation in the coming years. But the report still expects global wealth to increase to $ 169 trillion by 2026 – a rise of 36%.

In 2021, 62.5 million people worldwide had wealth of at least $1 million, equivalent to 5.2% of the world's population.

Copyright © 2024 The Brussels Times. All Rights Reserved.