The number of millionaires in the world is experiencing an unprecedented decline

They are less numerous and their fortune has also (a little) melted. According a study from the consulting firm Capgemini, the number of millionaires in the world – 21.7 million people – fell by 3.3% in 2022. This calculation, published Thursday, takes into account individuals whose money available outside their main residence exceeds one million dollars, At the same time and logically, the value of their accumulated wealth has also declined, with an estimated total wealth of 83,000 billion dollars, a decrease of 3.6% compared to the previous year.

“This represents the largest setback in ten years, due to macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertainties”, underlines Capgemini in its report which assessed 71 countries and uses as its methodology a statistical census system and a graphical representation called the Lorenz curve.

War in Ukraine and rising interest rates

The outbreak of war in Ukraine and its consequences on the planet, as well as soaring inflation and rising central bank interest rates have made 2022 a particularly difficult year economically.

Stock market indices fell sharply last year: the CAC40 index lost 9.5%, the Nasdaq in the United States plunged 33%, and the S&P 500 index, comprising the 500 main companies US, fell 20%. “There is necessarily a correlation” between the evolution of stock market indices and that of fortunes because fortune is increasingly made up of financial assets, said Elias Ghanem, director of financial research for the Capgemini group, interviewed by AFP. .

Some of the wealthiest themselves saw a marked slowdown in the growth of their holdings last year. This is the case of Bernard Arnault, boss of LVMH and the world’s first fortune, Mark Zuckerberg the founder of Facebook or the heiress of L’Oréal Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, according to the magazine’s real-time fortune index. Forbes.

Geographic disparities

In the details of the study, fortunes located in North America experienced the largest decline in value with -7.4%, followed by those located in Europe (-3.2%) and Asia-Pacific (- 2.7%), according to the study.

Conversely, those located in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East have progressed, notes Capgemini, thanks to solid performances in the oil and gas sectors, whose prices soared with the outbreak of the war. in Ukraine and the sanctions imposed on Russia by the West. In January Oxfam had estimated in a report published at the opening of the Davos Forum that “economic inequalities have reached extreme and dangerous levels” and the NGO had pleaded to “abolish” the long-term billionaires.

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