The Geography of the World's Millionaires

Last year, the ranks of the super-rich shrunk around the world.

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In the U.S., it might feel like a Golden Age for millionaires, with taxes low and stock prices rising. But in the last year, the ranks of the super-rich have shrunk around world, according to the annual Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report. The U.S. minted nearly one million new millionaires in the last year, but Europe shed "almost 1.8 million U.S. dollar millionaires" in 2011, with half of those losses coming from Italy, France, and Germany.

Today, the United States and Japan are home to about 7 percent of the world's population, but more than 50 percent of the world's millionaires.

The second striking fact from the report? Of the $12.3 trillion of global wealth that disappeared in 2011, Europe accounted for $10.9 trillion, or 89 percent, of the loss.

Photo credit: Rechitan Sorin/Shutterstock

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic.

About the Author

  • Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.