The number of Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWIs) rose by 3% last year. The fortunes of 5.181 people rise beyond the $30 mil. bracket, while 53 individuals became billionaires in 2014, taking the world’s total billionaire population to 1.844.


As the world’s largest independent real estate consultancy, Knight Frank, launched the ninth edition of The Wealth Report. Knight Frank has advised some of the world’s most influential families and sovereign funds for more than 100 years, having unique and direct access to the information regarding private wealth and investment preference of UHNWI around the world.


The results of the report show that by region, Europe is home to the highest number of UHNWI’s, with a population of 60,565, followed by North America and Asia, with 44,922 and 42,272 respectively, according to data compiled for Knight Frank’s Wealth Report by WealthInsight. On the other hand, available data anticipate changes in this ranking over the next decade, with forecasts showing that Asia will overtake North America as the second biggest hub for UHNWIs.


Currently, the ultra-wealthy in Asia hold net assets totaling $5.9 tr, while those in North America hold $5.5 tr. Nevertheless, Europe far outstrips both with holdings of $6.4t r. The longer-term forecast is for the global number of super wealthy to grow by 34% over the next ten years with the highest proportional growth coming from Africa (a 59% increase) and then Latin America (50%).


“Despite the headwinds facing the global economy as a result of renewed political tensions and fiscal uncertainty in 2014, some countries experienced particularly strong wealth creation last year, with UHNWI populations expanding by 5% or more in 15 countries”, explained Liam Bailey.


“Twelve of these countries were emerging economies underlining the fact that despite concerns about the easing of the pace of growth in developing countries, they are still going to be key drivers of wealth creation.”


“While Monaco, for example, is set to almost double its population of ultra-wealthy residents over the next 10 years, it will not keep up with the rate of growth in some other economies including Myanmar, the Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, and Tanzania, which are forecast to see the largest growth in UHNWI populations”.


Ouliana Vlasova, Head of Content at WealthInsight, said: “While Europe will remain the largest region for ultra-wealthy by 2024, Asia is projected to overtake North America as the second biggest hub for multimillionaires. This growth will be fuelled by the rising UHNWIs populations in China and India.”


Whilst the UK’s Capital will remain the single biggest centre for global Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWIs) – Singapore’s rapid growth is set to challenge the city’s dominance over the next decade, closing the gap with a 54% growth in its population of the super-rich during that period.

London currently tops the rankings, with 789 more UHNWIs residing in the Capital than its nearest rival Tokyo. However, the pace of Singapore’s growth will mean the gap between it and London will narrow over the next decade, meaning that by 2024 Singapore’s UHNWI population will be short of London’s by just 292 Individuals.


With the exception of London, European cities will see a relative decline in the size of their UHNWI populations over the next decade. Europe’s relative decline will be mirrored in North America, Australasia and even the Middle East, but the Asian powerhouse will continue to flourish with a 91% growth in their super wealthy population.


The top ten cities with the highest projected growth in UHNWIs over the next decade are all found in Asia. However, the report has also highlighted the emergence of wealth centres such as Addis Ababa and Belgrade, whose UHNWI populations are expected to grow by around 105% and 72% respectively over the decade. (source: The Advisers/Knight Frank)