Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Where the Millionaires Are

Barry Ritholtz shared this fascinating list of the nations in the world with the highest percentage of millionaire households.

15. The Netherlands (Total population 16.7 million; 2.1% millionaire households)
14. Ireland (4.8 million; 2.2%)
13. Oman (2.8 million; 2.5%)
12. Belgium (10.4 million; 2.9%)
11. Japan (125.2 million; 2.9%)

10. Bahrain (1.3 million; 3.2%)
9. Taiwan (23.2 million; 3.2%)
8. Israel (7.8 million; 3.6%)
7. United States (322.4 million; 4.3%)
6. United Arab Emirates (8.3 million; 5.0%)

5. Hong Kong (7.2 million; 8.8%)
4. Switzerland (7.7 million; 9.5%)
3. Kuwait (3.6 million; 11.8%)
2. Qatar (1.9 million; 14.3%)
1. Singapore (4.8 million; 17.1%)

I do have to say, though, I'm not totally sure what to do with this list--there's a lot going on here, and it's tricky to unpack it all. Some of these countries are millionaire-heavy because they have an industry (like, say, oil) that tends to create a lot of them. In others (like Switzerland and possibly Singapore), the explanation seems to have more to do with political considerations that would make those nations more millionaire-friendly--that is, those countries don't create millionaires, they just harbor them after they've already been created elsewhere.

So if I'm a millionaire, should I be going to where there are a lot of me already, or where I'd be a relatively scarce commodity? Seems like my money would go a lot farther in a country where I was the only millionaire in town, right? But I also wouldn't want to become a target. See you in the Netherlands?

[Barry Ritholtz]

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