TIME China

China Now Has the Second-Most Millionaires in the World

A clerk counts U.S. dollar banknotes after counting Chinese 100 Yuan banknotes at a branch of the Agricultural Bank of China in Qionghai
A clerk counts U.S. dollar banknotes after counting Chinese 100 Yuan banknotes at a branch of the Agricultural Bank of China in Qionghai, China's southmost Hainan province, November 12, 2012. China Daily/Reuters

China surged into second place behind the U.S for the highest number of millionaires

China now has the second-highest number of millionaires in the world, according to a new report. That puts it firmly in second place — right behind the U.S.

China recorded 2,378,000 millionaires in 2013, compared to the U.S.’ 7,135,000 millionaires, according to Boston Consulting Group’s 2014 Global Wealth Report. China’s millionaire growth skyrocketed last year, shooting up 82% from 2012. To put that in perspective, the U.S. only grew 18% during the same period.

China’s staggering growth accompanies a nearly 50% increase in the country’s private financial wealth, which includes bank deposits, securities and pension funds but excludes luxury goods and real estate. BCG credited this growth to China’s growth in its “shadow banking” sector, wherein credit is exchanged through alternative financiers.

China and the Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) are driving an overall increase in global private financial wealth, despite the U.S. continuing to post high numbers. The region boasts $37 trillion, or 24%, of the world’s $152 trillion in private wealth.

At current growth rates, the Asia-Pacific is expected to surpass Western Europe in 2014 as the world’s second-wealthiest region, trailing behind North America.

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