Business

UK's ultra-rich set to rise rapidly in 10 years, report says

Yacht on Thames belonging to Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The UK's ultra-wealthy are most visible in London

The UK will boast 30% more super rich individuals in 10 years' time, keeping it ahead of other European countries, a report has found.

Property consultants Knight Frank said the number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals increased by 6,340 to 193,490 worldwide in 2016, making up for a similar decline the year before.

Researchers put the turnaround down to strong performances on stock markets.

The report counted individuals with more than $30m (£24.2m) in net assets.

Last year saw political surprises and economic uncertainties from the UK's Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump, but many developed economies still performed well.

Stock markets in the US and UK also hit record highs in the final weeks of the year.

"There may be widespread uncertainty, but there are also strong fundamentals in many economies, with signs of real progress being made around regulation and policy which will help economic growth to flourish in some places," said Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth, the research company which provided the data for the report.

Regional rises

Knight Frank said it expected the number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals around the globe to grow by 43% over the next decade, but suggested wide variations between regions and countries.

The number of ultra-wealthy is expected to increase slightly more quickly in the US than in the UK over the next ten years, but the rest of Europe is set to see only 12% growth.

However the biggest rise - 91% - is due to take place across Asia.

By 2026 Asia will have almost caught up with the US: the region is set to boast just 7,068 fewer super-rich individuals than in the US in ten years' time. Currently the US ultra-wealthy headcount is 27,020 ahead of Asia's.

The researchers also found Asian cities, including Singapore, Shanghai and Beijing would eclipse current concentrations of wealth such as in San Francisco, as their wealthy populations rose.

Several African countries including Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania were also predicted to see big increases in their wealthy populations.

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