How much money you need to be in the richest 1% in South Africa

 ·24 Feb 2021

Global property consultancy group Knight Frank has published its 2021 Wealth Report, showing how many dollar millionaires are in South Africa – and how many are considered multi-millionaires.

According to the report, as of December 2020 there are 44,605 dollar millionaires living in the country, down from 52,109 recorded in 2019, but the group anticipates that millionaires will grow in number again by 2025 – hitting around 63,400.

In terms of multi-millionaires – individuals with a net worth over $30 million (R436 million) – South Africa has also seen a decline, with Knight Frank recording 742 individuals at the end of 2020, down from 768 the year before.

Forward projections for all millionaires is based on GDP performance, the direction of the property market, as well as equities.

Top 1% 

In its 2021 report, Knight Frank looked specifically at the “frequently cited, sometimes maligned” one-percenters – the top earning, or wealthiest individuals in the world.

For its report, Knight Frank categorised the one-percent according to net wealth: assets less liabilities.

The group noted that level of net wealth that marks the threshold for entering this exclusive community varies widely among different countries and territories. Interestingly it falls far short of the definition of a UHNWI ($30 million+) who are often associated with the grouping.

Even in Monaco, which has the world’s densest population of super rich, the entry point for the principality’s branch of the 1% club is $7.9 million (R115 million), the group noted.

Switzerland, where $5.1 million (R74 million) gains you access, is second, followed by the US, which has the highest number of UHNWI residents. Here, $4.4 million (R64 million) puts you in the 1% category.

Singapore, in fourth place, is Asia’s highest entry, marginally ahead of Hong Kong, with the level of wealth required being $2.9 million (R42 million) and $2.8 million (R41 million) respectively.

New Zealand sets a $2.8 million (R41 million) barrier – $80,000 (R1.16 million) more than you would need in neighbouring Australia. Argentina is the highest entry for Latin America at $360,000 (R5.2 million), ahead of Africa’s highest – South Africa at $180,000 (R2.6 million).

Developing economies Indonesia and Kenya have thresholds that are below 1% of the level of Monaco at $60,000 (R872,000) and $20,000 (R291,000) respectively.

India has the same 1% level – $60,000 (R) – but with a UHNWI population 10 times that of Indonesia and 14 times that of the Philippines

Read: South Africa is losing thousands of millionaires

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