A staggering number of dollar millionaires live in South Africa

Consulting firm Capgemini has released its latest World Wealth Report, which tracks the spending and investing habits of the world’s high net worth individuals (HNWIs).

High net worth individuals are defined by the group as those who have investable assets of US$1 million (R14 million) or more – excluding primary residence, collectibles, and consumables.

The investible assets include the value of private equity holdings stated at book value, as well as all forms of publicly quoted equities, bonds, funds and cash deposits – while also accounting for undeclared savings.

The report found that the improving global economy spurred HNWI wealth to surpass the US$70 trillion threshold for the first time – registering its sixth consecutive year of gains.

HNWI wealth grew 10.6% in 2017, making it the second-fastest year of HNWI growth since 2011, the group said.

According to Capgemini, there were about 18.1 million HNWIs in the world at the end of 2017, an increase of 9.5% from 16.5 million at the end of 2016 – which means 1.6 million people became new dollar millionaires over the period.

The HNWI population continued to grow across global regions, with Asia-Pacific and North America accounting for 74.9% of the total global increase in the HNWI population (1.2 million new HNWIs) and 68.8% of the rise in global HNWI wealth (US$4.6 trillion in new HNWI wealth).

Europe also realised a strong performance in 2017 with 7.3% of HNWI wealth growth.

The largest markets, comprised of the United States, Japan, Germany and China, represented 61.2% of the global HNWI population in 2017 and accounted for 62% of all new HNWIs globally, the group said.

South Africa

In South Africa, the report marked an 8.9% increase in HNWIs, from 84,700 recorded at the end of 2016, to 92,200 at the end of 2017.

A report from New World Wealth earlier in the year, showed that South Africa is home to 43,600 HNWIs, each with net assets of $1 million or more, and 2,200 multimillionaires, each with net assets of US$10 million or more.

The country has as many as 98 centi-millionaires, each with net assets of $100 million or more, New World Wealth said. Its metrics for measuring wealth however, differs from that of Capgemini.

Knight Frank’s wealth report meanwhile, showed that there are 10,350 South Africans with a net worth of $5 million or more (R70 million), 640 with a net worth over $50 million (R700 million) and 30 individuals with a net worth greater than $500 million (R7 billion).

SARS stats showed that there were 148,266 rand millionaires in South Africa in 2017, the bulk of which are earners in the R1 million to R2 million per annum salary range.

There were over 7,000 more millionaires in the country compared to 2015/16, where there were 141,197 millionaires recorded.

All millionaires had a total taxable income of R287.24 billion – at an average of R1.94 million.

  • In the R1 million to R2 million salary group, 113,811 people had total taxable income of R150.65 billion (or R1.32 million per person).
  • About 28,828 South Africans earn between R2 million and R5 million, with a total taxable income of R82.2 billion (R2.85 million per person).
  • Meanwhile 5,627 taxpayers earn more than R5 million, with a total taxable income of R54.4 billion (R9.67 million per person).

Read: How the world’s richest people feel about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

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A staggering number of dollar millionaires live in South Africa