Real estate market helps France overtake UK for number of millionaires

France has edged the UK out of the top five countries with the biggest number of millionaire residents, a new study has found. But why?

Real estate market helps France overtake UK for number of millionaires
Verkeorg, Flickr
The country now boasts 579,000 millionaires, growing 11% from 2015 to 2016, according to research from French technology consultants Capgemini
This is the first time France has made it into the top five in the world, managing to beat the UK's 2016 count of 568,000 millionaires, the consultants found.
The report from Capgemini said France “stood out of the pack with growth levels of millionaires well above global and regional averages”. 
France's recovering real estate market and continued economic growth were attributed to its rapid increase in millionaires. 
Germany is the only other European country to occupy a spot in the top five, coming in third place with 1.28 million millioanaires.
The United States took the top spot with more than 4.7m people worth more than $1,000,000. 
Japan possesses the second highest millionaire count in the world, at 2.9 million and China took fourth place with 1.1 million millionaires. 
Overall, the number of millionaires in the world is 16.5million, increasing 8% since 2015. 
Who are France's 39 billionaires and what do many have in common?
The global millionaires are said to share a fortune of $63.5 trillion between them.
By Anna Schaverien


French ‘more wealthy than Americans and Germans’, new study reveals

A new global wealth report has revealed that while there are far more millionaires in the United States than in France, the French are actually more wealthy than Americans on average.

French 'more wealthy than Americans and Germans', new study reveals
The US and French flags hang outside the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House in Washington. AFP

Credit Suisse' annual global wealth report revealed that the number of dollar millionaires across the world grew to nearly 47 million last year and they now own close to half the world's wealth.

The United States still leads the world in total number of millionaires. The US added 675,000 new millionaires over the past year, bringing its total to a staggering 18.6 million.

In France the number is far fewer, albeit the number of millionaires in the country has jumped by 93 percent between 2010 and 2019.

France now has just over 2 million millionaires.

The ranking for wealth per adult reveals that Switzerland comes out top ($564,650) followed by Hong Kong ($489, 260) and the United States ($432, 370).

But a different ranking that looks at median wealth per adult tells a different story.

Credit Suisse notes: “The ranking by median wealth per adult favours places with lower levels of wealth inequality and produces a slightly different table. Australia (USD181,360) overtakes Hong Kong SAR (USD 146,890) to gain second place, but remains below Switzerland (USD 227,890).

“New Zealand, Canada, and the United Kingdom retain similar positions in the top ten, but lower-than-average inequality raises Belgium (USD 117,090) to fourth place, Japan (USD 110,410) to sixth, Ireland (USD 104,840) to eighth, and France (USD 101,940) to ninth.”

Well below France comes the United States where the median wealth for adults is $65,900 and Germany ($35 313).

Median wealth is the amount that divides the wealth distribution into two equal groups: half the adults have wealth above the median, and the other half below.

France has lower levels of wealth inequality to the United States but the main reason given for the difference in median wealth between the US and France is the huge levels debt incurred by Americans.

While in Germany there is far lower levels of home ownership compared to France which explains why the median level of wealth is lover across the Rhine river.

Credit Suisse estimates that one percent of the richest Germans own 30 percent of the country's total wealth, compared  to France and Italy where the richest one percent own 22 percent of the country's wealth.