Decline? US Will Add Five Million Millionaires By 2017

Decline? US Will Add Five Million Millionaires By 2017
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For all the talk of decline in America, here is a stat worth noting: America is expected to add five million millionaires over the next five years.

According to Credit Suisse, the United States is expected to have 16.9 million millionaires by 2017. (Millionaires are defined as those with total assets minus debts of more than $1 million). That would mark a 53 percent increase from America's 11 million millionaires today.

Credit Suisse says North America has 40, 000 residents worth $50 million or more.

The growth means that the United States will still tower over the rest of the world when it comes to manufacturing millionaires. Even if China and Asia grow at the expected 70 percent over the same period, the region will still have 50 percent fewer millionaires than the United States.

Globally, there are expected to be more than 46 million millionaires around the world in 2017 - an increase of more than 18 million. (Read more: Affluent Plan to Spend Less If Obama Wins )

Clearly, the millionaire growth numbers won't be happily received by either side of the partisan divide. The left will likely say the growth is proof that only the rich are benefitting in this economy. The right will say the numbers are flawed and overly optimistic.

To be sure, the Credit Suisse project contains plenty of unknowns and assumptions. It says that France, for instance, will also grow its millionaire count by 50 percent -- which is a big assumption given the current relocation plans of French millionaires. (Read more: Rich Are Ready to Take On More Risk )

Still, despite America's supposed decline in other areas of the economy, it still leads the world in the production of millionaires.

-By CNBC's Robert Frank
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