India may still have a long way to go in eliminating poverty, but high economic growth is throwing up millionaires by the thousands, an annual study of high networth individuals (HNWIs) revealed on Thursday.
The country, ranked 138th on the basis of per capita income by IMF and 119th in the UN's human development rankings based on indicators such as life expectancy and education, added in 2010 as many as 26,300 HNWIs — those who have assets worth US $ 1 million (about Rs 4.5 crore) or more.
India, with 153,000 millionaires, topped the growth rate in millionaire population at 20.8% while Canada was second with 12.4%.
India ranks 12th in the world now in terms of the number of millionaires said Capgemini and Merrill Lynch in their World Wealth Report 2011. It has moved one notch up in the ranks, pushing behind Spain."With a GDP growth rate of 9.1% in 2010 and an increase in market capitalisation by 24.9% India presents a great opportunity and continues to remain an important market for wealth management providers worldwide," said Atul Singh, managing director and head, Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management, India.
Globally, the global elite of HNWIs grew 8.3% in number to 10.9 million in 2010, while their combined wealth rose by 9.7% to $42.7 trillion. The figures crossed the pre-2008 crisis peak of 10.1 million HNWIs with a total wealth of $40.7 trillion in 2007.
The Asia-Pacific region overtook Europe for the first time to become the second largest in terms of HNWI population, which stood at 3.3 million.
While booming equities drove up wealth, there are concerns on slowing of growth, the report said.
"Global GDP growth is expected to slow to 3.2% in 2011 and stay there in 2012 as rapidly growing developing economies such as China and India face capacity constraints and developed economies tackle fiscal imbalances," it said.