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Growing Wealth Inequality Swelling The Ranks Of UHNW Individuals

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A special report released from research firm Wealth-X points out that the number of ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals (net worth more than $30 million) in the U.S. has grown dramatically over the last few years. The sources of the wealth of these new UHNWs are numerous, but the twin towers of wealth inequality — equities and real estate — contributed the most to the fortunes of the U.S. super-rich.

The Wealth-X report also highlights the distribution of these UHNW individuals across the country, breaking down the numbers by state and major metropolitan areas.

U.S. dominates global UHNW rankings

The U.S. has by far the largest ultra high net worth population (69,560) and many times more UHNW wealth than any other country (9,630 billion). More billionaires billionaires live in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world. Of note, more UHNW individuals in the US$30 million to US$49 million tier live in in the US than there are UHNW individuals of all wealth tiers in any other country.

UHNW Individuals

California and New York dominate U.S. super-rich rankings

Not too surprisingly, it turns out that California and New York have the highest super-rich population in the U.S. California and New York added the largest number of new UHNW individuals — there were 1,470 new UHNW individuals in these two states alone. Although the GDP growth in California and New York was not as strong as in some other states, the fact that they are regional financial hubs with a high concentration of super-rich individuals and businesses already established there helped the rich get richer quickly.

The Wealth-X report also notes there are significantly more UHNW individuals in California than in the entire UK, that there are more UHNW individuals in New York than there are in all of India, and there are more UHNW individuals in Texas than in Canada.

UHNW Individuals

Details on UHNW individuals in other states

The economies of Alaska and Hawaii were among the most sluggish in the last year, so its not a shock that Alaska and Hawaii experienced no growth in their UHNW populations. New Mexico and Vermont only saw an increase of five UHNW individuals over the last year. Wisconsin and Connecticut also saw relatively growth, with their super-rich populations moving up by less than 3%, and increasing by only 30 and 35 UHNW individuals, respectively.

North Dakota had the fastest growing super-rich population last year, with 10 individuals joining the ranks. The second fastest UHNW population growth was seen in South Dakota, where the super-rich population rose by 20 individuals. Both states saw very rapid growth in GDP last year, making businesses increasingly profitable and leading to quite a few folks crossing the UHNW threshold of US$30 million.

The powerful growth seen in Florida’s financial and real estate sectors resulted in a big boost in the state’s UHNW population. Florida’s super-rich increased by over 10%, with almost 500 individuals joining the ranks over the past year.

Michigan’s economy also performed well over the last 12 months, seeing a surge in investment and a increasing confidence in the economic outlook for the region. Michigan’s UHNW population expanded by more than 10%, with the addition of over 200 individuals.

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Sheeraz Raza

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