How much money you need to join the wealthiest 0.1% in South Africa

Data from global property consultancy group Knight Frank shows how deep your pockets need to be to join the wealthiest 0.1% in countries globally, including South Africa.

Using its Wealth Sizing Model, the property group predicts that the global population of UHNWIs – somebody whose net wealth exceeds $30 million or more- will grow by 27% over the next five years, while the number of HNWIs – or millionaires – is forecast to rise by 41%.

Asia tops the group’s five-year UHNWI growth forecast with 39%, led by Indonesia on 67% and India on 63%. This would see Asia’s proportion of global UHNWIs rise from 22% to 24%.

Europe will retain its crown as the second largest wealth hub with expected growth of 23%, bringing the total number of UHNWIs to 185,860, it said. The biggest rises are forecast in Poland with 61%, and Sweden with 59%.

Africa is expected to see the second biggest regional five-year UHNWI growth rate – 33% – led by Zambia and South Africa. “But the outlook for households earning more than US$100,000 a year is even more positive according to Oxford Economics, which is forecasting 139% growth over the same period,” Knight Frank said.

According to Knight Frank’s 2021 Wealth Report, as of December 2020 there were 44,605 dollar millionaires living in South Africa, 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% and 01%

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 (top 1%) varies widely among different countries and territories. It falls far short of the definition of a UHNWI who are often associated with the grouping.

For South Africa, one would need to have $180,000 (R2.6 million) to be classed in this exclusive club.

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.

The group also looked at the wealth required to be in the top 0.1%.

The US tops the list with over $25 million required, followed by Monaco, with $22.2 million, with Switzerland trailing in third ($16.6 million). In South Africa, the magic number is $1.6 million – a little over R22 million.


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

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How much money you need to join the wealthiest 0.1% in South Africa