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How Many Ultra High Net Worth Individuals Are There in the World?

How Many Ultra High Net Worth Individuals Are There in the World?

A high net worth individual working remotely from their summer home.

For someone to be considered a “high net worth individual,” they generally must have at least $30 million in net investable assets. However, this is not really a legal definition. As their name suggests, ultra-high net worth individuals are the the richest people on the planet, including the world’s billionaires. These people are significantly above those who are considered wealthy people. The number of ultra-high net worth individuals continues to grow and their demographic characteristics are constantly evolving, according to several journals and studies around the world.

For help with your investing and financial planning questions, consider using SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching tool.

What constitutes a very wealthy person?

Although there is no legal standard when it comes to defining who is an ultra-high net worth individual (UHNWI), it is often defined as someone with $30 million or more in assets. These funds must be made up of investable assets, which is an important distinction to make. For example, many startup founders, business owners, and real estate investors may have more than $30 million in capital. net worth on paper, but these funds may not all be available for investment. In turn, these people would not be considered very wealthy under this definition.

Ultra-high net worth individuals belong to a separate category, although there are similar counterparts, the most common of which is high individual net worth. To be in this group, you need more than $1.5 million in net investable assets. It is important to note that to reach either of these thresholds, investable assets must be net of Liabilities Also. Thus, those who have large sums to invest as well as high debt levels risk not reaching the expected level.

Although ultra-high net worth individuals are typically defined as having more than $30 million in net investable assets, remember that this is not a strict definition. Most people, countries and financial institutions will follow this standard, but some will have other definitions. If a Financial institution says it only works with ultra-high net worth individual clients, this is worth clarifying personally with the company.

Who makes up the world of very wealthy individuals?

A very wealthy person working on a laptop.A very wealthy person working on a laptop.

A very wealthy person working on a laptop.

According to The Wealth Report, published by Knight Frank in 2021, there are more than 520,000 ultra-high net worth individuals in the world. About a third of these people reside in the United States. In fact, the United States is home to more UHNWIs than any other country, including all of Europe combined. China also has a high percentage of ultra-high net worth people in the world. Only about 15% of UHNWIs worldwide are women.

It’s worth noting, however, that other studies have found different numbers of ultra-high net worth people around the world. For example, a report published by Wealth-X indicates that there were 392,410 worldwide in the first half of 2022, which was down 6% from 2021. Additionally, Barron’s reported a total of approximately 300,000 for 2020.

Some well-known names top the global list of ultra-high net worth people, including all the world’s billionaires. Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Mackenzie Bezos are all very wealthy individuals. Many billionaires and other wealthy individuals have earned their wealth by starting and owning businesses. And many of these high net worth individuals are also investing significantly in real estate.

Benefits of being a high net worth person

Keep in mind that while most people and institutions consider ultra-high net worth individuals to be those with more than $30 million in net investable assets, the definition can change from situation to situation. However, regardless of which standard is used, the biggest advantage of being a high net worth individual is the fact that you are incredibly financially comfortable and can have much stronger investment opportunities than your less wealthy counterparts .

It’s true that ultra-high net worth individuals may have the advantage of being able to work with certain exclusive financial institutions, but hitting the $30 million mark usually ends up being more of a status symbol and statistic than anything else. If you are considering a large investment or working with a specific financial institution, it may be a good idea to have a conversation to discuss any special treatment or conditions that may come with being a high net worth individual.


And an ultra-wealthy couple arriving in a hotel lobby.And an ultra-wealthy couple arriving in a hotel lobby.

And an ultra-wealthy couple arriving in a hotel lobby.

Very wealthy people are all extremely well off financially. Typically, they will need to have $30 million in investable assets to qualify, but different institutions and individuals may have their own definition of what constitutes a high net worth individual.

There are some very wealthy individuals in the world, but most reside in the United States and are mostly older men. While high net worth and ultra high net worth individuals also make for impressive financial distinctions, ultra high net worth individuals are at the very top of the wealth pyramid and may have privileged access to certain financial institutions and investments. .

Tips for investing

  • Whether or not you’re a high net worth individual, long-term investing may require advice. A Financial Advisor could help you build your portfolio strategically. The free SmartAsset tool connects you with up to three licensed financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor to decide which one seems best for you. If you are ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, start now.

  • If you’re reviewing your investment portfolio on your own, it pays to be prepared and well-researched. SmartAsset offers a number of free online resources to help you become a pro. For example, check out our free investment calculator and start investing today.

Photo credit: ©iStock/CandyRetriever, ©iStock/EXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER, ©iStock/Space_Cat

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