Money

71 percent of the world's super rich live in these 10 countries

Traders pass in front of an American flag displayed outside of the New York Stock Exchange in New York.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Traders pass in front of an American flag displayed outside of the New York Stock Exchange in New York.

The U.S. has the highest number of ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) residents, defined as those worth $30 million or more, in the world, as data firm Wealth-X highlights in a 2018 report.

The population of super-rich Americans stood at 79,595 in 2017. That's more than the combined total of the next five largest countries — Japan, China, Germany, Canada and France — and means that the U.S. now accounts for 31 percent of the world's UHNW population.

Here are the top 10 countries in the world for the super rich, as measured by the number of residents worth $30 million or more. Click on the chart to enlarge.

10. Italy: 5,960 UHNW individuals
9. Switzerland: 6,400 UHNW individuals
8. United Kingdom: 9,370 UHNW individuals
7. Hong Kong*: 10,010 UHNW individuals
6. France: 10,120 UHNW individuals
5. Canada: 10,840 UHNW individuals
4. Germany: 15,080 UHNW individuals
3. China: 16,875 UHNW individuals
2. Japan: 17,915 UHNW individuals
1. United States: 79,595 UHNW individuals

* Hong Kong is a semi-autonomous, special administrative region of China.

While the U.S. remains the dominant UHNW country, global wealth-creation is quickly moving to Asia, Wealth-X notes. The U.S. actually "recorded the weakest growth in its ultra wealthy population and net worth among the top seven countries." Its population of ultra wealthy individuals increased by 8.9 percent between 2016 and 2017, whereas countries like Japan, China and France saw double-digit gains.

In addition to looking at the year-on-year change in UHNW populations across countries, Wealth-X looked at the compound annual growth rate since 2012. By that measure, Bangladesh, a small country in South Asia, is the fastest growing UHNW country, followed by China, Vietnam, Kenya and India. Its UHNW population has grown by more than 17 percent since 2012.

"It's not that long ago — a few decades ago — when it [Bangladesh] was really impoverished and at the bottom of all the tables. Of course, like India, it's still characterized by extreme poverty, but there are reasons for positivity and optimism based on a very consistently strong growth in GDP," Vincent White, managing director of the Wealth-X Institute, tells CNBC Make It.

He adds: "The consensus is that, as is the way in many countries, this level of growth has probably benefited the minority wealthy far more than the average person."

Senior research analyst at Wealth-X, Maeen Shaban, also notes: "Another point to consider here is the fact that the population is very small. Therefore, an increase of one person represents a much bigger percentage compared to China or the United States."

Bangladesh now has 255 UHNW individuals, Shaban tells CNBC Make It.

Here's the full list of the top 10 fastest growing UHNW countries:

10. United States: 8.1 percent growth in UHNW population since 2012
9. Pakistan: 8.4 percent growth in UHNW population since 2012
8. Israel: 8.6 percent growth in UHNW population since 2012
7. Ireland: 9.1 percent growth in UHNW population since 2012
6. Hong Kong*: 9.3 percent growth in UHNW population since 2012
5. India: 10.7 percent growth in UHNW population since 2012
4. Kenya: 11.7 percent growth in UHNW population since 2012
3. Vietnam: 12.7 percent growth in UHNW population since 2012
2. China: 13.4 percent growth in UHNW population since 2012
1. Bangladesh: 17.3 percent growth in UHNW population since 2012

* Hong Kong is a semi-autonomous, special administrative region of China.

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