Millionaires, the kind of people that non-millionaires despise but still hope to become one day, are taking a good chunk of the world’s money. Those who fear these hungry hungry hippos of the world’s financial resources call them the one percent, and their growing wealth correlates with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.
Last year, millionaires controlled 41% of the world’s wealth. By 2019, they will control 46%, or almost half, of all total wealth, according to a report by Boston Consulting Group. The report qualifies private wealth as relatively liquid holdings like cash, stocks and bonds; assets like property and business ownerships were excluded. As of last year, there were 17 million millionaires in the world.
A recent survey showed that China, who has the world’s fastest growing and second largest millionaire population, boasts at least 4 million millionaire households. The United States still has the most millionaires with approximately 7 million millionaire households while Japan comes in third with only 1 million millionaire households.
Of course, millionaires aren’t even the ones at the very top of the social ladder — that is reserved for the top .01%. Billionaire investors and business leaders alike have been warning the world that the growing income gap will eventually lead to have-nots rising against those who have plenty. It’s a scenario that has played out multiple times throughout history, resulting in downfalls of aristocracy and the redistribution of wealth, resources and opportunity.
When you play the game of capitalism, there must be winners and losers. There is no middle class. Now we wait to see where society will take this game.