Israel ranks 10th among in the world in percentage of millionaire households, according to Boston Consulting Group’s annual Global Wealth report released over the weekend.
The percentage of households with assets in excess of $1 million in Israel is 3.8%, higher than in countries like Japan, Canada, the Netherlands and Belgium where per capita gross domestic product is much higher than in Israel. Ranked ahead of Israel are the United Arab Emirates and Taiwan (both 4.0%), Bahrain ((4.9%, the United States ((4.9%, Singapore (8.2%), Hong Kong (9.4%), Kuwait (11.5%), Switzerland (11.6%) and Qatar (14.3%).
Israel ranks even higher in the percentage of multimillionaire households. According to BCG’s findings, the country ranks eighth in households holding financial assets worth more than $100 million. That means that Israel has four such multimillionaires for every 100,000 households, topping the rate in some of the wealthiest Western countries − Britain, Canada, Sweden, the United States and Denmark.
Outranking Israel are Kuwait and Singapore, with seven multimillionaires per 100,000 households, Norway and Qatar with eight, Austria with nine, Switzerland with 10 and Hong Kong with 13.
Although the BCG report does not measure poverty, it highlights the severity of economic inequality in Israel. Along with the large number of millionaires, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reported in May that at 20.9%, Israel had the highest rate of poverty among the 34 most developed countries.
Israel also continues to be one of the countries with the largest income inequalities, ranking fifth, with the United States, Mexico, Chile and Turkey having larger income gaps.
The biggest concentration of millionaires is in the United States, where 5.8 million households hold at least $1 million, BCG said. Japan is in second place with 1.4 million households. China comes in a close third with 1.3 million households and is likely to overtake Japan this year. Britain and Switzerland follow in fourth and fifth places respectively.
Of the 15 countries with the most millionaires, three are the emerging economies of China, Russia and India. Except for the United States, most of the wealth continues to be concentrated in Western Europe, accounting for six of the 15 countries, and East Asia and the Pacific with five.
The number of millionaire households in the world grew to 13.8 million, constituting 0.9% of the total number of households around the world. The top 1% holds 39% of the world’s private wealth and those with over $5 million own 25% of the wealth.
The study forecasts that the concentration of wealth will likely continue to increase over the next five years since millionaires are accumulating wealth at a faster rate than the rest of the population.
While people with assets of less than $100,000 are forecast to increase their financial holdings by 3.7% in the next five years, those with up to $5 million will grow 4.6% wealthier by 2017, BCG said. Multimillionaires with up to $100 million will increase their wealth by 8% over the same period and the so-called super-rich, those with over $100 million, will increase their total assets by 9.2%.
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