There are now 36 million millionaires in the world - and they own nearly half the total wealth

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Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse

  • A new Credit Suisse report finds there are 2.3 million new millionaires in the world, putting the total at 36 million.
  • Collectively, they make up less than 1% of the population but hold as much wealth as 46% of the world.
  • Forecasts indicate the world could soon see many more millionaires, and perhaps even the first trillionaire.

Since 2016, the world has seen a new crop of 2.3 million people reach a net worth with six zeroes.

According to Credit Suisse's new Global Wealth Report 2017, there are now 36 million millionaires in the world - a 170% jump in total numbers from the year 2000. Together, these millionaires hold as much wealth as 46% of the population.Advertisement

Credit Suisse's report did show that people are generally getting wealthier overall. In 2017, global average wealth hit a new high of $56,540, compared to $52,074 in 2007.

The world's ultra-wealthy are getting richer too, and to far greater degrees. In 2000, the top 1% held 45.5% of the world's wealth. Today, they hold 50.1% - more than half of the rest of the world.

According to Credit Suisse's past reports, becoming a millionaire might be more common over the coming decades.

The rapid influx of new wealth could even create the first trillionaire within a couple decades, according to a recent Oxfam report. There were 793 billionaires worldwide in 2009. Added up, their net worths totaled $2.4 trillion. By 2016, the richest 793 people maintained net worths of $5 trillion - an annual growth of 11%.Advertisement

"If these returns continue," the report stated, "it is quite possible that we could see the world's first trillionaire within 25 years."