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.


Member comments

  1. As well as consistent typos like “lover” instead of “lower”. I wish they would at least correct them when pointed out, but they don’t do that either.

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Le Million Dollar Club: France has second highest number of new millionaires in the world

Almost 260,000 French citizens have joined the Million Dollar Club in 2018, second only to the US in terms of millionaire growth, a new study has found.

Le Million Dollar Club: France has second highest number of new millionaires in the world
Photo: Deposit Photos

More people have become millionaires (in terms of US dollars) in France in 2018 than anywhere else in Europe, a growth in the number of wealthy citizens that’s second only to the United States globally. 

That’s according to Crédit Suisse's annual Global Wealth Report, which measures the wealth index of countries and its citizens across the planet.

In euros, a million dollar equates to €871,315 dollars according to October 23 2018 exchange rates.

Approximately 259,000 French people, roughly the population of the southern city of Bordeaux, joined the so-called Million Dollar Club, taking the total number in France up to 2.14 million US dollar millionaires.

As of January 1st 2018, France’s national stats body INSEE estimated that l’Héxagone’s population stood at 67.2 million, meaning that ‘Le Million Dollar Club’ represents 3.18 percent of people in metropolitan France.

With regard to the other nations at the top of Crédit Suisse's index, the US (in first place) saw a huge spike in the number of wealthy citizens – 878,000 new millionaires.

Germany took third place on the podium with 253,000 new millionaires, then the United Kingdom with 240,000), Italy with 200,000 and in sixth place China 186,000 new millionaires in 2018.

These margins are of course subject to currency fluctuations, meaning that a stronger euro against the US dollar will result in more French people being classified as millionaires.



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This however hasn’t been the case in 2018.

“The main explanation for these increases in the number of millionaires in European countries is down to the growth of actual wealth, rather than in exchange rate fluctuations,” the authors of the Credit Suisse study conclude.

In global standards, Credit Suisse estimates that the number of millionaires now stands at 42 million people, an increase of 2.3 million compared to last year’s figures.

With the current world population estimated to be around 7.6 billion, that means that the number of global (US dollar) millionaires now represents around 0.55 percent, a smaller figure even than the so-called ‘one percent’, a term popularised by a 2006 documentary focusing on the growing wealth gap between the wealthy elite compared to the overall citizenry in the US.