Is it still cool to be a millionaire? Perhaps not by 2019. Over the next five years, the global millionaires club is expected to grow by 53 percent, from 35 million to 53 million members. According to a new report from Credit Suisse, that rapid expansion makes millionaires the fastest growing segment of the world's wealth pyramid. By comparison, the global middle class is predicted to increase 30 percent by 2019 and the upper-middle class by just 22 percent in the same period.
The biggest regional growth in millionaires is expected in China, where that population could nearly double from its current 1.18 million members to 2.29 million by 2019. The U.S. should have less of a spike—forecasts show its millionaires increasing by 39 percent over the next five years—but will easily retain its title of Most Millionaire-Filled Nation with almost 20 million of them by 2019.
Worldwide, millionaires (defined in the report as "with wealth above USD 1 million") are still a small portion of the population. They account for less than 1 percent of all adults and together own 44 percent of global wealth (approximately $115.9 trillion). But relative to that, their ranks are booming. Particularly in countries and regions that don't currently have a lot of millionaires—Malaysia, Chile, Poland, and Africa, for example—their numbers are expected to swell by 80 to 110 percent over the next five years. Those millionaires who are no longer feeling special might want to set their sights a little higher: The world's billionaire club still has only 2,325 members.