THE MOUNT OLYMPUS of the super rich consists of 15.4 million people, the majority of whom (14 million) are everyday next door millionaires, with a net worth between one and five million euros. To these we can add the middle-range millionaires, with net worth between five and 30 million euros. And on the top of the pyramid are the 140,000 ultra rich people (Ultra High Net Worth Individuals, to use the economists’ technical term), who own between €30 million and €1 billion.
Those with over one billion in the bank are a small community of only 1,800. According to the analysis by the American Deloitte group, one of the global “big four” corporate consultants, the net worth of these 15 million people is €58.7 trillion. If they were all put together, they would populate a city as large as Istanbul (or perhaps twice as large, if their real homes were placed side by side).
A large city, full of villas and gardens, which however would not be spared by the economic crisis, with a widening of social inequality: in the period from 2009 to 2015, in fact, the number of billionaires at the top of the golden pyramid increased by 7.4%, while what we could call the “middle-class millionaires” remained stable, with a 1.8% increase. To emphasize this picture of contrasts even further, it should be added that the greatest number of multi-millionaires is located in Asia: 5.1 million people with an average net worth of €3.4 million, compared to their 4.8 million American colleagues (average net worth of €3.5 million) and 4.2 million slightly less fortunate Europeans (average net worth €3.2 million). But the truly rich have residence - at least for tax purposes - in the Global South: the 600,000 oil millionaires of the Middle East have a slightly higher average net worth (€3.9 million) than their colleagues in the Global North.The 200,000 African millionaires have an average net worth of €8.3 million and the 500,000 South Americans own €14.8 million each.